On the aftermath of the man overboard incident involving the container ship ‘Maersk Patras’, the ITF called on the Transport Canada to ban foreign-crew from undertaking dangerous lashing work while vessels are underway in the Saint Lawrence river.
On 19 May, the Sri Lankan second officer, Ravindu Lakmal Pieris Telge, fell overboard the Singaporean-flagged ship at approximately 9:30am.
Despite an extensive search and rescue operation, his body has not yet been recovered.
Investigations by Transport Canada and the ITF indicate that the man fell overboard whilst lashing, and crew claim that he was the only crew member not wearing fall protection.
Early reports indicated that this incident occurred while dropping a pilot ladder, however after speaking to the crew and investigating further, we’ve determined that’s not the case. This seafarer was handling a 4-meter lashing bar, almost half his weight, when he fell overboard,
…explained today ITF Canadian coordinator Peter Lahay.
The ITF has previously met with Transport Canada and advised of concerns and given evidence of the risks to seafarers lashing vessels underway on the Saint Lawrence.
It’s curious and absurd that dangerous lashing work on containerships is done at the dock everywhere in Canada except Montreal. Really there is nowhere in the world where the dangerous practice of making ship’s crew lash and unlash containers while the ship is moving except Montreal,
…Rob Ashton, President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union of Canada also said.
We will await the finding of official inquiry but from our initial investigations there are serious questions about crew fatigue and the safety procedures on board that need to be answered,
…added Mr. Lahay.
The ITF invited Maersk to join the global union federation in calling on Transport Canada and the Port of Montreal to ensure that lashing is done by qualified dockers.
Leave a Reply