Unsafe ship-shore and ship-ship access seems to be bubbling up as a major element in incidents to seafarers this year. It’s a view reinforced by the Danish Maritime Authority report of the investigation into the serious injury of the chief engineer of the 135.6 tonne tug Egesund on 20 January.
During a port stay the ship’s chief engineer visited the town of Thyborøn. On the day of the accident there was snow on the quay and it was freezing.
While boarding the ship he slipped on a provisional arrangement used as a gangway. The arrangement consisted of a wooden pallet three metres long. The chief engineer fell in the gap between the ship and quay and suffered injuries to his back and chest.
The fall was observed by a witness who alarmed the crew. The chief engineer was rescued by the crew and some bystanders. Subsequently he was hospitalized.
It is the opinion of the Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that the causes to the accident were:
An inappropriate arrangement used as gangway.
Inappropriate use of footwear, wooden shoes.
The chief engineer’s judgment- and reaction capability were reduced due to consumption of alcohol.
The chief engineer’s overweight (sic) restrained his freedom of movement and made his rescue difficult.
There were no satisfactory procedures describing to access to the ship.
There was not sufficient equipment on board to ensure safe access to the ship.
The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents has recommended:
1. That the owner ensures means to safe access to the ship under all circums-tances.
2. A revision of the ships Safe Management System.