Jan 202016

Agatha Christie would have been proud of it:  On the morning of 23 July 2015 the chemical-Product tanker Selandia Swan was on passage from Scheveningen, Netherlands to Ust-Luga, Russia through the North Sea with the Third Officer on watch without a lookout. During the 1000 crew break for coffee and tea and AB went to the bridge to make an internet phone call to speak to his family.

On the bridge the AB went to the port side of the centre console to use the cordless telephone. He did note the third officer. There was no answer when the AB called out that he was using the phone but assumed the officer was at the chart table or in the toilet.  As he spoke he walked around the bridge and realised the third officer was not there.

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Publication: Guidelines for the Development of Plans and Procedures for the Recovery of Persons from the Water

 Man Overboard, publications  Comments Off on Publication: Guidelines for the Development of Plans and Procedures for the Recovery of Persons from the Water
Jul 012014

MOBGuidelines to help shipowners comply with a new International Maritime Organization regulation requiring ship-specific plans and procedures for the recovery of persons from the water, have been launched today by the International Chamber of Shipping.

Under the new SOLAS Regulation, from 1 July 2014 all ships are now required to develop plans and procedures identifying both equipment to be used for recovery purposes and measures to minimise the risk to shipboard personnel involved in recovery operations.

ICS Marine Director, John Murray, says: “This guidance outlines practical steps that shipowners and  may wish to consider when developing the necessary plans and procedures, including advice that existing on board equipment may be identified as suitable for the recovery of persons from the water.  In the majority of cases, the carriage of additional dedicated equipment will probably be unnecessary.” Continue reading »

MSC Siena MOB Fatality: When The Routine Became Risky

 Accident, Accident report, containership, weather  Comments Off on MSC Siena MOB Fatality: When The Routine Became Risky
Feb 112013

sienaRoutine is risky. Over the previous two months the crew of the containership MSC Siena had rigged the pilot ladder 30 times. The 31st time, on 17 November 2011 off Fremantle, a man was lost. No risk assessment had been done to take account of the weather conditions says Australia’s Transport Safety Board, ATSB, report on the incident.

The account is harrowing: “At about 1123, as the bosun watched the OS, he saw a ‘large wave suddenly rise up’ and strike the underside of the bottom platform of the accommodation ladder with force (the rope lashing the ladder to the shipside lugs parted). A loud bang was heard on deck and the bosun then saw the OS hanging from his harness rope, under the accommodation ladder’s bottom platform. Seeing that the OS had fallen off the ladder, the bosun began yelling.

“On hearing the yells, the seaman and the cadet looked over the side and saw the OS suspended about 1 m below the bottom platform. He was shouting for help while trying to hold on to the lower part of the pilot ladder. His legs were often submerged in the rough seas which were pounding his body against the ship’s side, the platform and the pilot ladder, and repeatedly breaking his hold on the ladder. Continue reading »

Loss Of Skippers Highlights Single Operator Safety: Discovery/Breadwinner

 Accident report, fishing boat,, Man Overboard  Comments Off on Loss Of Skippers Highlights Single Operator Safety: Discovery/Breadwinner
Nov 072011

Discovery - unsafe practices cost lives and put her on the rocks

Safety issues on single operator fishing boats have been highlighted by the release of a joint report on MOB accidents involving two such vessels.

The single-handed skippers of FV Discovery and FV Breadwinner were lost overboard in October 2010 and January 2011. Risks were not adequately accounted for in either case.

While there were differences in the circumstances that led to each of these fatal
accidents, both occurred as a direct result of the working practices that were being

There have been 13 recorded fatalities on UK creel fishing vessels since the beginning of 2007, 9 of which were a result of either falling or being dragged overboard with the gear.

Of these 9 fatalities, 7 were single-handed fishing operations, with no one to witness the accident or provide assistance.
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Don’t Be A Dummy In MOB Drills

 Accident report, Man Overboard, maritime safety news, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Don’t Be A Dummy In MOB Drills
Aug 292011

Rail gave way while retrieving MOB drill dummy

During a routine man overboard exercise, the boat crew of the daughter craft attempted to recover the dummy over the hand rail. As the boatman leaned against the hand rail to reach down, the rail gave way causing him to lose balance and fall into the water.

The boatman was quickly recovered and returned to the mother vessel for treatment.

The hand rail that gave way was a removable hand rail, designed to give better access for recovering casualties. If best practice had been followed, then this hand rail would have been removed on approach to casualty.


  • Follow company procedures and best practice
  • when recovering dummies out of the water. This includes removal of hand rails and use of Jason’s cradles where applicable.
  • All DC hand rails to be checked for damage to welds, security of fittings and any other defects. Any defects must be reported to the vessel Superintendent and FRC workshop. immediately.
  • The above checks to be included in the FRC / DC weekly checks.
  • Please discuss this Safety Alert immediately with your boat crews & at your next safety
  • meeting.

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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 »

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 »

Flying Cloud MOB Fatality, Separation, Knives and Lifejacket Might Have Saved Life

 Accident, Accident report, fishing, fishing boat,, Man Overboard  Comments Off on Flying Cloud MOB Fatality, Separation, Knives and Lifejacket Might Have Saved Life
Dec 032010

image An MOB fatality might have been avoided by separating crew from the back rope of a fishing vessel while carrying multiple sets of creels; providing knives that can be used quickly in an emergency; and, the wearing of lifejackets or personal flotation devices while working on the open deck says the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

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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.

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