Hong Kong MARDEP shared lessons learned from a fatal fall onboard a Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier. The Bosun and a sailor used the provision crane as a movable working platform to paint the underdeck area above. Due to adverse weather, the crane suddenly moved towards the shipside quickly and they had to jump down to escape.
When a Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier was underway at sea, the Bosun and a sailor were assigned to paint the aft area outside the accommodation. When they were about to paint the underdeck area of C Deck, which was about 5 metres above A Deck, the Bosun decided to use the provision crane as a movable working platform to facilitate working at height.
Due to adverse weather, the crane suddenly moved towards the shipside quickly until it was stopped violently by the stopper plate. In a moment of desperation, the Bosun and the sailor jumped from the crane onto A Deck. After landing, the sailor saw the Bosun lying on A Deck with his legs seriously injured with bleeding.
Immediate medical assistance from the coastal state could not reach the vessel due to adverse weather and the Bosun was declared dead the next day.
The investigation identified that the crew lacked safety awareness.
There was no clear working order and safety instruction to avoid working aloft in adverse weather from the senior officer when the crew received the painting task.
Furthermore, the Bosun and the sailor lacked knowledge on the safe use of the provision crane and its limitation. They should not have used the crane as the movable working platform when the vessel was underway.
The investigation also found that after suffering the injury, the Bosun was transferred from the accident scene to the tally office on A Deck instead of the hospital located on the same deck for proper medical treatment.
- Seafarers should strictly follow the company’s procedure/instruction for working aloft.
- A patient or a casualty should always be transferred to the ship’s hospital for medical treatment.
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