A fatal accident happened on board a Hong Kong registered bulk carrier when anchoring at the port of Kavieng, Papua New Guinea. In response, the Hong Kong Marine Department issued note to address lessons learned and highlight the importance of enhancing shipboard safe operation training for the key operations.
n this incident, one Able Bodied Seaman (AB) and one Deck Fitter (Fitter) were struck by a wiggle wire while attempting to rectify the securing arrangement of the log cargoes loaded on deck. They both fell into the sea from the top of the log cargoes, resulting in the death of the AB.
A Hong Kong registered general bulk carrier anchored at the port of Kavieng, Papua New Guinea for port formalities and the securing of log cargoes (the securing operation). When the securing work on the top of the No. 2 hatch was finished, the AB and the Fitter found the hoisting wire of the hook block (the block) of the No. 1 crane was jammed with the block on the top level of the uneven logs. Without informing the Chief Officer of the problem, they attempted to rectify the situation by themselves.
During their inspection, the block shifted and rotated suddenly, causing the taut wiggle wire to move abruptly. The moved wiggle wire struck the AB and Fitter which made them fall into the sea from the top of the log cargoes. The Fitter was conscious but the AB was seen with his face submerged after falling into the water.
The AB received cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately after being taken on board. Unfortunately, the AB was declared dead on board by the shore medical officer on the same day.
The investigation revealed that the main contributory factors causing the accident were:
-the toolbox talk was not conducted on board before the securing operation in accordance with the requirements of the shipboard Safety Management System (SMS);
-the crew members failed to follow the requirements of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (the Code) to rig suitable safety nets or temporary fencing while carrying out the securing operation on top of the deck cargoes;
-the AB and the Fitter had inadequate safety awareness and underestimated the risk of unexpected freeing of the jammed wire during the inspection of the wiggle wire lashing system;
-the crew members failed to follow the requirements of the shipboard Cargo Securing Manual (CSM) to carry out the securing operation; and the shipboard training to crew members in the securing operation was ineffective.
The internal audit should also ensure that: the crew members follow the safety requirements strictly when handling the securing operation on deck; and shipboard training is carried out effectively