Four people were found unconscious in the cargo hold of a general cargo ship in Hanstholm, Denmark, on Tuesday.
One man died, and the others are now in hospital after wood pellet cargo handling operations on the 7,500dwt ship Corina arriving from Poland. The men are believed to have been affected by the low oxygen atmosphere possibly caused by the buildup of carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide in the enclosed space of the cargo hold.
A fifth man managed to escape the cargo hold before being overcome.
In a separate accident earlier this month, three men died after entering the cargo hold of a ship in the Port of Antwerp. In this instance the cargo had been coal.
The requirement to conduct enclosed space entry drills and training every two months became mandatory under amendments to SOLAS as of January 2015.
Too many lives have already been lost because proper safety procedures were either not in place or not enforced, says Captain Paul Drouin when discussing another incident in a recent edition of The Nautical Institute’s MARS report. Masters and chief officers must be proactive in ensuring that procedures are in place and are followed, he says.