MFV Janireh Another No-lifejacket Fatality

 Accident, Accident report, lifejacket, Man Overboard  Comments Off on MFV Janireh Another No-lifejacket Fatality
Jun 162011

Nadi Sehsaah, an Egyptian fisherman, will no longer go home to his family. At night, in benign weather conditions, he fell 1.8 metres into the sea from the fishing vessel Janireh 20 nautical miles south west of Mizen Head, County Cork, Ireland. His body was not recovered. He was not wearing a lifejacket.

It is a lesson that is taking a long time learning.

A report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board of Ireland describes in chilling detail the failed attempts to save a man who, had he been wearing a lifejacket, may well have lived.

He fell while trying to fix a problem with the trawl gear. At the time he was wearing atwo-piece bib & brace type yellow fisherman’s oilskins and hood, fitted with fluorescent strips. He was bare headed, and wearing white wellington-type rubber boots, but no flotation device.

Still towing gear, the vessel swung hard-a-starboard and Sehsaah was sighted some 4 – 5 boat lengths off, slightly aft of midships starboard, with the deck lights picking up the reflective strips on his oil skin hood. His only reaction was to raise his hand. Continue reading »

Booze, Lack of PPE Led To Fatal MOB

 Accident, Accident report, lifejacket, Man Overboard  Comments Off on Booze, Lack of PPE Led To Fatal MOB
Jun 062011

Not a place to be when under the influence

Stanislaw Bania, was Polish, 58 years old and an experienced AB. His career, and his life ended when he fell from a ladder on the the St Vincent and the Grenadines registered cargo vessel  Joanna while alongside in Glasgow, Scotland, 13 December 2010. Analysis of postmortem blood revealed that Stanislaw had a blood alcohol concentration of 193mg/100ml.

The Marine Acidient Investigation Brranch investigation identified that the AB almost certainly fell while climbing up  to the port side platform of the straddle lift used to move the vessel’s cargo  hatch covers. It also found that: the AB was working while under the influence  of alcohol; the means of access to the straddle lift platforms used by the ship’s crew were unsafe; the opening and closing of the cargo hatch covers had not been identified as a key element within the onboard procedures, and therefore the risks of accessing and operating the straddle lift had not been assessed; and important personal protective equipment (PPE) was either not available on board, or was not fit for purpose.

The vessel’s manager has implemented a drug and alcohol policy, renewed its shipboard operations and risk assessments, provided new procedures for the operation of the straddle lift, and provided replacement PPE on board Joanna. Continue reading »

Wear That Lifejacket, Save Your Family Some Grief

 Accident, lifejacket, lifejacket, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Wear That Lifejacket, Save Your Family Some Grief
Apr 252011

Inflatable lifejacket - You're mad not to wear one

Lifejackets are useless unless worn. It’s a simple lesson that applies to merchant mariners and fishermen. It’ a lesson still not getting across.

Britain’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency says that 86 maritime deaths between 2007 and 2010 may have been avoided if those involved had worn a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

This is the latest finding of an expert panel which has been analysing maritime accidents since 2007. Recently the panel, consisting of members from the MCA, RNLI, RYA, MAIB1, lifejacket industry and Portsmouth University, looked at the 35 maritime deaths in 2010 where lifejacket wear may have been appropriate. They agreed that in 21 of those incidents a life might have been saved if a lifejacket or buoyancy aid had been worn. Continue reading »

Lessons from Bantry Bay fishing tragedy

 Accident, fire, lifejacket, Sinking  Comments Off on Lessons from Bantry Bay fishing tragedy
Mar 072011

Castaway burns

On a calm day in Bantry Bay, Ireland, last 16 August, a fishing trip ended in death by drowning for three of the four rod anglers on board the 30-ft fibre glass motor cruiser, Castaway. But out of every tragedy at sea lessons can be learned to prevent repeat disasters and the Castaway incident is no exception. It also shows that even highly experienced mariners are not immune to unsound behaviour at sea.

One of the victims, Mike Schmidt, the Castaway’s owner, was a master mariner and his friend, Wolfgang Schroder, was also a highly experienced seafarer. The third victim, 69-year old local farmer, Richard Harman, could not swim.

At the inquest on March 2, the sole survivor, 46-year old Eddie Dziato, from Connecticut, explained that all four were forced to jump overboard when flames engulfed the vessel after a day’s fishing during which, with the exception of Mr Harman, all had been drinking beer, wine, whiskey and rum and cokes. As they headed for home about 5 p.m. they noticed the boat was taking on water and so Mr Schmidt turned on three electrical bilge pumps but within 20 minutes they saw smoke coming from behind the instrument panel in the wheelhouse. They then saw flames and insulation material begin to melt. Continue reading »

EMS Trader: Hazardous Pilot Rig Led To Fatal MOB

 Accident, Accident report, lifejacket, Man Overboard  Comments Off on EMS Trader: Hazardous Pilot Rig Led To Fatal MOB
Jan 252011

Did the pilot ladder platform drag a seafarer to death?

Working in the dark with poor lighting and a partially slippery deck near an opening in the railing harbours particular risks, especially when you’re on your own rigging what Germany’s Federal Bueau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, the BSU, refers to as “an indeed permissible but potentially hazardous pilot ladder construction” aboard the containership EMS Trader in its just-published report.

Nobody saw the victim fall, or knows the moment it happened, so the exact sequence of events that led to yet another grieving family cannot be determined with precision. It seems likely that the pilot ladder platform had not been properly hooked into place, that the victim had wrapped the cord used to lowr the platform around his hand and that the platform fell dragging him overboard.

What is quite apparent is that safety culture was inadequate.

Says the BSU summary: “At approximately 06151 on 4 November 2009, the EMS Trader, a container vessel flying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, cast off from the Port of Hamburg and sailed downstream on the Elbe under pilotage. Continue reading »

Jan 112011

Holland-America Line Volendam

Several months, at least, will pass before investigation into the Volendam tragedy in which a 29 year old Indonesian drowned when a cable parted in port Lyttleton, Christchurch can be completed and it would be very unwise to speculate on specifics. Nevertheless even the sparse information so far available presents lessons regarding lifeboat safety management worth learning regardless of whether they actually applied in this individual case. Continue reading »

Jan 092011

Holland-America Line Volendam

Police in the New Zealand port of Lyttelton, Christchurch says that neither of the crewmen aboard the Holland-America Lines Volendam were wearing a lifejacket when one end of the lifeboat they were working on fell suddenly, dropping them into the water. One of the men, an Indonesian, drowned, the other managed to remain afloat using a bucket.

MAC has been unable to confirm reports that a fall wire snapped. No fall preventer appears to have been fitted. Continue reading »

MOB Saved – But Wasn’t Wearing Lifejacket

 lifejacket, Man Overboard, maritime safety  Comments Off on MOB Saved – But Wasn’t Wearing Lifejacket
Oct 102010

image An MOB is lucky to be alive after he fell overboard from a containership while rigging a pilot boarding ladder. MOBs while rigging pilot ladders and accommodation ladders are unfortunately common with sadly frequent results.

Thames Coastguard coordinated the successful rescue of a 27-year-old man this morning after he had fallen overboard from a container vessel 16 miles off Felixstowe.
At 6.15 am Thames Coastguard received a report that a man had fallen overboard from the 57000 ton container vessel MSC Gina. The crew member, a male from Montenegro, had been preparing a boarding ladder in readiness for a pilot to board to take the vessel into Felixstowe when the platform collapsed and he fell overboard. He was not wearing a lifejacket or safety harness.

Continue reading »

Fishermen Prefer Death To Lifejackets

 fishing, lifejacket, Man Overboard, NTSB  Comments Off on Fishermen Prefer Death To Lifejackets
Oct 062010

Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. Seafarers prefer death to lifejackets.

Not so coincidental, perhaps, with the US National Transportation Safety Board’s upcoming forum on fishing vessel safety is a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, Commercial Fishing Deaths—United States, 2000-2009, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It may, at first sight, seem odd that a disease prevention agency should be involved in fishing accidents but, then, the refusal to wear a lifejacket is a disease, and an apparently incurable one, in the US as it is in the UK.

Continue reading »