Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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Company fined for three Clyde tug boat deaths

A Danish company, Svitzer Marine, has been fined £1.7 million at the High Court in Edinburgh for safety failings that led to the death of three crewmen on a tugboat owned by the company, reports the BBC. The judge hearing the case commented that the fine would have been higher had the company not pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches.

The Flying Phantom had been towing a large cargo ship on the Clyde through thick fog when it capsized.

A subsequent investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found that the tug boat’s towing winch had been slow to release, causing it to be capsized by the boat it was towing. In addition, there was a lack of safety procedures in place for operating in foggy conditions. The tug boat had also apparently been involved in a previous collision in similar conditions in 2000.

Clydeport has also been prosecuted for safety failings relating to the same incident, but has denied the charges, reports the BBC. The case against it is due to be heard later this year.

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