It’s too easy to forget that working in a confined or enclosed space can also exposed you to work aloft dangers, too. The Chief Engineer of the Bow Cecil took a step in the dark in a tank and never survived the subsequent fall.
On 8 March, 2010 Bow Cecil was en route from Houston, Texas to Salvador, Brazil. The electrician had, during an assignment in the fore peak tank, discovered a leak in an overboard line going through a tank, a little above stringer 10200, 10,20 m above the keel). The chief officer, the chief engineer and the first engineer decided to carry out an inspection of the leak, and make plans for the repair.
The repair itself would be carried out later.
The procedure for entry into enclosed spaces was followed, and the inspection started.
During the inspection, the chief engineer pointed his flashlight at a flange near the port side shell of the tank, and took a few steps in that direction. He suddenly fell through an opening in the stringer, and landed at the bottom of the tank, about eight meters below.