2nd Mar 06

Locality: No 5 Cargo Hatch cover on Deck; Casualty: Deck Cadet; Time around 1630hrs; vessel position: Along side berth at Vishakhapatnam port, India.

This accident occurred on one of my ships in 1996 where I was working as Chief Engineer.

It was the normal practice on that vessel that whenever Cargo hatch covers were to be opened/ closed the Chief Officer instructed Duty Officer along with the Deck Cadet to carry out the operation.

On the day of the accident, cargo in Bulk (D.A.P) was being discharged by grabs. Around 1600hrs it was noticed the sky became cloudy and it started drizzling. Chief Officer was in the deck office on the computer and instructed the cadet who was with him to close the hatch covers immediately, who tried to find the duty officer (3/ O) but was unable to trace him.

As the rain was increasing the cadet immediately ran on to the deck and started closing the hatch covers one by one. These Hatch covers are worked hydraulically. As he was an old cadet and had gained experience of about 10 months on that vessel itself, he closed No 1, 2, 3, 4, hatch covers and speeded up his action further. Till now the 3/O hadn't turned up on deck.

The cadet started closing No 5 hatch cover. The control station of this operation is on STBD side of the hatch coaming. While closing the Hatch cover he had kept his left hand on the hatch coaming track rail and was watching the movement of hatch covers to ensure they were falling down smoothly. A hatch cover roller ran across his left thumb crushing it.

Suddenly he screamed and sat on the deck in agony. He was given first aid and immediately sent to the doctor. But it was not possible to save his crushed digit.
hindustan institute of marine training chennai