Jonathan O’Donnell, skipper of the fishing Vessel John Collins is currently recovering from injuries to his foot sustained in an incident which could have led to amputation. Unsafe working practices and lack of effect safeguards led to him being caught up in a rotating propeller shaft says a newly released accident investigation report from Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB.
While it was proceeding home the vessel’s bilge alarm sounded and after pumping out the bilge it sounded again shortly afterwards. The skipper went into the fish hold and lifted the covering boards over the bilge containing the pump and the propeller shaft.
The engine was not stopped or put into neutral and the shaft was turning. The skipper put his foot into the bilge beside the turning shaft in order to reach down to clear debris from the bilge pump.