Five investigators from the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch spent the night of Wednesday June 11 aboard the cruise ship Saga Rose, docked at Southampton, inquiring into the death of a 43 year old second bosun, one of two Filipino crewmen trapped in one of the vessel’s ballast tanks. The ship’s 300-strong crew is devastated, they’ve been together for 10 years, they’ve lost one of their own, and yet another family in the Philippines will lit yet another candle in a cemetary at All Soul’s in November.
It will probably be many months before the MAIB’s final report is released, it would be unwise to speculate on details, but already it is evident that safe entry procedures were not followed.
None of the ship’s officers appear to have known that the two men were in the tank. If proper procedures had been followed they would have known and been able to monitor events.
Because procedures were not followed a man is dead, a close-knit crew is distraught, a family is grieving.
The unnerving consistency with which these events occur is unacceptable and indicates something deeply amiss in training, competency and safety behaviour throught the industry.