Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
ABNORMAL AND SUICIDAL BEHAVIOUR OF A SEAFARER
The vessel was on a voyage from Santos(Brazil) to Ghent (Belgium). After a day of the voyage, the main engine developed a problem, two of the liners cracked. Chief engineer wanted to replace the liners, and since the ship did not have spares, the ship was anchored near the port Recife. The company agreed to send the spares in a day. Next day the spares came and also the superintendent to attend to the problem. The work started proceeding and at around 1100 hrs, the fitter came to Chief Officer and told him that he has to sign off compulsorily in that port. Chief Officer told him that it will not be possible to sign him off here as this is not a regular call. The fitter insisted and started fighting. He was taken to the Master and Master also explained him regarding the difficulty in signing him off.
He told Master that if he did not sign off here, he will commit suicide. He left Master’s cabin, changed over to civilian clothes, went to aft and jumped into the water after clapping his hands to attract the seamen working nearby. Seamen (2 of them) saw him going into the water, and informed Master. MOB alarm was raised and rescue boat was launched. Meanwhile Master informed the port agents and agents also came with a fast rescue boat. By this time, the fitter had already drifted by about 3 nautical miles. He was rescued and was found in good and fit condition.On compulsion of the present situation, Master signed him off after remarking DR in his CDC. It came to limelight that the fitter was depressed due to a remark passed on him by his seniors in regard to the breakdown, which made him to decide about signing off. He was treated and he became alright, but he could not continue his sea carrier, because of the Master’s remark in the CDC.
Lesson learnt :
never take hasty decisions.