Death of an outside repairer at the Bow Thruster unit :

The ship was a car carrier. Vessel reported hydraulic oil leak into sea from forward. It looked like coming from the bow thruster unit. It was decided to investigate and carryout the repair in the port on arrival.On arrival, two divers (repair squad) were arranged to inspect and repair the leakage.Master, C/E and one diver were stationed in the diver’s support vessel. 2/E and C/O were stationed at the bridge for monitoring and start up of bow thruster when required. One diver went inside and investigated the cause and repaired the leakage.

One oil pipe union was leaking, same was tightened. He informed his support vessel to start the Lub oil pump for the bow thruster to see whether the leak has got arrested.The order is for the lub oil pump to start. The message was conveyed to the bridge, and the 2/E informed C/O to start the bow thruster instead of lub oil pump. Result being, the diver got seriously injured and he died.Master, C/O, C/E and 2/E were arrested under the pretext of man slaughter and were put behind the bars.

Lesson learnt :

Always keep the starting and stopping procedure near the control station, bridge and in the engine control room for any machinery. Also make sure the communications are repeated to confirm the clarity and to ensure that the information is received properly.

(Mr N R Jayaraman, C/E, REO 20.08.07)
hindustan institute of marine training chennai