Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
TRAPPED IN COLD HOLD
29th Aug 05
This happened on board a reefer Vessel.
The vessel had a raised focs'le with a masthouse on the upper deck level. Entry into no. 1 hold was through a thick insulated door inside the mast house. The door was closed with 6 dog handles like all conventional Water Tight doors, but these did not extend to the inside of the door so these handles could not be operated from inside the hold.
The reefer fitter, under instruction from the reefer engineer would, every evening, inspect the humidity sensors in the holds before sunset. On this particular occasion he went into the hold without informing the reefer Engineer & not adequately clothed for the temp inside which was at 00c. One of the dog handles on top of the door sell over due to vibration & he was trapped inside the cold hold.
Fortunately the fitter was able to operate the 'lock-in' alarm several times. The 2nd Engineer who was in the control room checked with the reefer engineer & suspecting someone trapped in the hold, found the frightened reefer fitter.
The fitter was in the cold hold for above 10 min totally, but he was quite cold & terrified When he was found he took sick & was running high fevers for several days out of sheer fright. Fortunately the consequences were not very serious.
Needless to say the closing mechanism was immediately repaired & modified to prevent recurrence.