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Scottish Viking officer jailed for eight months over fisherman death

Scottish Viking officer jailed for eight months over fisherman death
Second officer Pasquale Miccio of ferry Scottish Viking has been sentenced to eight months in prison by the Edinburgh High Court, after admitting responsibility for the death of fisherman Daniel McNeil.

Miccio, the navigating officer on 5 August 2010 on the Scottish Viking, was accused of ignoring warnings from the ferry’s lookout and failing to take appropriate action to avoid a local fishing fleet, which set sail from Eyemouth, Scotland.

Scottish Viking sailed from Rosyth, Scotland, at around 4.30pm, and collided with fishing vessel Homeland at 6.35pm. The small fishing boat was crewed by McNeil and his brother, skipper Joseph McNeil. Joseph McNeil was rescued after another fishing vessel, the Serene y Don, threw a life ring, but Daniel could not be found.

In failing to make the adequate course adjustments to avoid the collision, Miccio was found to be in breach of section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 as amended, on 24 March 2016 in the High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow. As officer in charge, he was responsible for the failures and omissions and had failed to take actions that would have prevented the death of the young man.

The crewman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, reduced to eight after the said Edinburgh High Court judge Lord Bannatyne took into account other contributory factors to the incident. ‘It is impossible to place a value on his life and it is not the purpose of this court to do so," said the judge, calling the loss of Daniel McNeil “a dreadful tragedy”.

Captain Bill Bennett, surveyor in charge, for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said that the case highlighted the need to maintain a proper lookout, adding that it reinforced the need for every vessel to use all available means to determine if a risk of collision exists and to take early positive action to avoid that collision.

Fishing boat Homeland 'went down very quickly' said MCA report