Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
STEP-LADDER LASHING FAILURE DEATH
The ship was anchored at the inner roads of Bombay port at about 7 pm. Some of the officers and crew went ashore unofficially in a boat. Round about midnight the port authorities informed the ship to get ready to berth after a particular ship had cleared out.
So the Main engines were tried out and the anchor heaved up. Slowly we moved towards the lock gates. Unfortunately due to some technical snag with the vessel supposed to come out, our berthing was cancelled and we were told to go back and anchor.
At this time officers & crew who had gone out on the hired boat returned to the ship. The pilot ladder was already rigged, so the people started boarding the vessel.
When the third person came up the he grasped the stepladder and when he was about to step onto the deck, he along with the stepladder fell off the ship. The stepladder fell on another person's head in the boat.
The rest of the people who were still in the boat attended to this injured person, but nobody noticed the person who had fallen into the water along with the stepladder.
Although those on board raised an alarm, there was a heavy tidal current and also because it was dark locating the person proved to be difficult.
The lifeboat was launched at once and a thorough search was carried out; unfortunately the missing person could not be traced. Only after 3 days his body was found about 15 miles away from the spot where the mishap took place.
The stepladder had not been lashed when the mishap took place. The officer on watch was not aware of the arrival of the boat, as the trip was an unofficial one. He was in the chart room doing some chart correction.