Flying Phantom

The Flying Phantom was a tug built in 1981 for the Clyde Shipping Company and based in Greenock in Scotland. As a consequence of business takeovers and mergers, by 2001 she was owned by Svitzer Marine Ltd of Middlesbrough, though still based on the Clyde.

She sank in the River Clyde at Clydebank on 19 December 2007, with the loss of Stephen Humpreys (captain), Robert Cameron (engineer) and Eric Blackley (deckhand) with only Brian Aitchison surviving. She was one of three tugs assisting the bulk carrier Red Jasmine. On the night of the accident, there was extremely poor visibility, due to heavy fog.

Following the incident the Marine Accident Investigation Branch carried out a full investigation on the accident, and their report was published in September 2008. The MAIB concluded that failings in the safety regime of the harbour authority Clydeport, as well as operational shortcomings by the tug operator, contributed to the capsize of Flying Phantom and the loss of the three crew-members.

In December 2012 it was reported that criminal charges had been laid against Clydeport and Svitzer.

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