Sep 102009

You cannot embed safe working practices in a crew if you don’t follow them yourself.

Luis Sokota, the Croatian Chief Officer of the UK registered containership Ville de Mars was undoubtedly set for celebration on 28 January 2009. It was his 34th birthday and the next day he was to leave the ship. Instead he died in the Royal Navy helicopter carrying him to hospital after he fell almost eight metres in a water ballast tank.

What makes his death even more notable than the sad and continuing tragedies in confined spaces is that he was the ship’s safety officer and died setting a bad example to the rest of the crew.

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