Probe under way as fishing boat men named

The two fishermen who died on board a boat moored in Whitby harbour have been named.

Mark Arries (26), from Blythe and Edward Ide (21) from Amble in Northumberland had been working on the fishing vessel M220 Eshcol.

The boat is one of a small party of vessels, all registered at Milford Haven in South Wales, that had been fishing for scallops off the Whitby coast for a number of weeks.

The bodies of two crew members were found in their beds and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has launched an investigation into the cause, with carbon monoxide poisoning believed to be the most likely cause of death.

A small market had been held at the Pier Road fish market early Wednesday morning, with no idea of the tragedy that had struck the vessel, moored just next to the building.

The vessel had been berthed beside the market building to allow it to be refuelled, and it is only when the fuel tanker arrived that the bodies were discovered.

Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend

Darren Butcher of Whitby Fish Market said: “As I got here there was shouting and they were trying to wake them up.

“Then at about 9.45am when the other crew were here, they must have thought ‘hey up, where’s these two lads?’ They’ve gone aboard, kicked the door in and obviously found them there.”

The vessel actually has a crew of three people, with another man opting to sleep on a different vessel the previous night, a decision which appears to have saved his life.

The vessels are visiting Whitby to exploit scallop shoals which are found off our coastline.

Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend

The boats would normally have been at sea, had poor weather not forced them to remain in the harbour.

RNLI chaplain, David Smith, spoke to the Gazette after Whitby’s lifeboat team helped take the bodies of two crew members off the boat.

He said: “It is part of the training, but it does not help when you get things like this happening. As a community, Whitby will be devastated.

“When boats are at sea, things happen, which is obviously why the RNLI go out on jobs, but you don’t expect a boat in the harbour to go through this.”

Police added that the deaths are currently unexplained, there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances and no one else is being sought in connection with the incident.

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is a possibility, other causes are also being investigated.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed of the deaths.