Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
DEATH IN CARGO HOLD
27th Apr. 06
On a Particular vessel where I was sailing as Chief Engineer, an unfortunate incident occurred, which could have been avoided with a bit of foresight.
Being a general cargo vessel, one of the hatches had the upper hold loaded with long pipes. The deck had two very heavy machinery pieces and the entire cargo was to be discharged in that particular port.
Normal discharging from the hold was being carried out. When it was decided to offload the heavy pieces from deck by the vessel's jumbo derrick, discharging from the holds was stopped till such time the job was completed.
The jumbo derrick lifted one machinery piece, but as soon as the load was swung out for landing on the jetty the vessel started to gradually list in that direction. The problem of landing became more complicated because as soon as the load touched the jetty, the vessel tended to righten itself and the load lifted from the jetty again.
Due to the severe heeling the pipes stacked in one of the holds rolled down on one of the workers who hadn't bothered to come out of the hold earlier, killing him on the spot due to serious head injuries.