A Humber pilot died while attempting to board a ship in the estuary, as he fell from a rope ladder as he tried to board the vessel, on January 8.
escue attempts were made by colleagues and Humber Coastguard, including a second pilot entering the water, with the pilot being airlifted to hospital, but later losing his life.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is investigating the incident, which happened 2.5 miles (4km) east of Spurn Point.
Describing the incident, a source told the BBC that “as the pilot climbed the ladder, and at about half way, he lost his grip, falling backwards. It’s believed he banged his head, and then entered the water. The remaining pilots and deck crew from the pilot launch were able to maintain sight of the casualty and within a minute had the casualty in a ‘matesaver’ pole.”
The second pilot was treated for minor injuries, including mild hypothermia.
Now, a team of MAIB inspectors and technical staff were deployed and are in the process of gathering evidence to understand the circumstances that led to this tragic accident.
In a statement, ABP said:
ABP is saddened to confirm that that one of our marine pilots was fatally injured during operations on the water on Sunday. The gentleman’s next of kin have been informed. Our thoughts are very much with those closest to him
Commenting on the incident, the UK Marine Pilots Association (UK MPA) urged the maritime to give priority to safety and training regarding the transfer of pilots and crew. In this call, UK MPA said that investment in safe technologies is critical in order to ensure that “maritime pilots and seafarers return home safe after every voyage.”
Furthermore, according to the UK MPA the movement of the pilot boat bringing the pilot alongside, the ship’s motion, and the potential for equipment failure:
Requires precise timing and coordination of the ship, the pilot vessel and the exact judgement of the pilot as they step from one moving platform to another, often in pitch darkness in the dead of the night