A young ambitious officer with the world of command ahead of him but he forgot the golden rule: when you go into a trap, make sure you’ve got two pairs of eyes.
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Britain’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency, MCA, is holding a workshop on 24 February in London. Says the MCA: “Over 50 years ago enclosed spaces were recognised as a serious risk to seafarers and the cause of many recorded deaths and injuries. Sadly, even now such deaths and serious injuries are still all-too-frequent when almost all of them might be preventable.”
Places are limited to 100.
Presentations and discussions to explore
what more can be done to reduce
the number of fatalities caused by
entry into enclosed spaces.
10am till 4.30pm on Wednesday
24th February 2016
Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London,
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything remotely ambiguous about the signage on this hatch-cover? Why did three seafarers ignore them? Unfortunately the report from the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation on three confined space deaths aboard the German-flagged general cargo ship Suntis does not tell us. Key questions remain unanswered but the circumstances are all too familiar.
Says the report “MV Suntis left the port of Riga in Latvia on 19 May 2014 and reached the port of Goole in the United Kingdom on the evening of Saturday 24 May 2014. The crew was composed of a 67-year-old German master, a 60-year-old German chief officer, and three Philippine seamen (38, 33 and 30 years old). The ship was laden with timber.
Something is deeply wrong with an industry in which so many can die so often in tragedies entirely avoidable. One death, three injured and one escape from a hold containing wood pellets aboard the Polish-flagged bulker Corina this week brings the number of confined space casualties to eleven within the past month. Such losses are unacceptable.
We’ll call him Danek, not his real name but he was a real person, a Polish able seaman and one of nine crew aboard the 30 years old 81 metre general cargo ship Monika, flagged in Antigua Barbuda. Danek’s cabin is in the forward part of the accommodation which overhangs the aft bulkhead of one of Monika’s two holds by about half a metre. Next to his cabin is the ship’s hospital.
Following the deaths of two ship’s officers aboard the general cargo ship Sally Ann C off the West African coast seafarer’s union Nautilus International has called for the UK to lead a ‘new and concerted drive to end the appalling litany’ of seafarer fatalities in enclosed spaces.
Investigations into the incident – which took place off the coast of west Africa – are underway, but it is known that the chief officer and chief engineer died after entering a hold where timber was stowed and the second officer had to be rescued after losing consciousness when he went to the aid of his colleagues.
Two men, a Russian chief officer and a Ukrainian chief engineer have died in a hold containing timber while a third, a Filipino second officer who attempted to rescue them collapsed by survived. The incident is under investigation by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch while the report will not be available for some time the incident does highlight the confined space hazards of timber in cargo holds and the continuing problem of would-be rescuers being overcome while attempting to recover victims.
OGP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, has issued a safety alert following the death of a worker at a construction/rig repair yard in Singapore in May this year. The worker had entered an enclosed space which was inerted with argon gas for a welding operation.
Argon does not do much which is why it is useful in processes like welding where a non-combustible atmosphere is needed to prevent fire and explosions. It can also kill, as this case shows.
Too often there is more than one casualty. The first victim is joined by those who follow attempting a rescue. About two thirds of casualties are would-be rescuers.