Seafarers are continuing to be killed in enclosed spaces onboard ships despite the campaigns to cut the death toll, a P&I club has warned.
The UK Club has issued a special bulletin in response to evidence of a recent increase in the number of fatalities involving entry into enclosed spaces despite the ‘wealth of information’ about the need for correct procedures.
In the most recent case, last month, a junior officer died after entering a cargo hold to collect a cargo sample. Despite being warned by colleagues of the dangers, the officer entered the hold and then exited due to ‘bad air’ inside.
The officer re-entered the hold ‘after a mere five minutes of unforced ventilation,’ the club added. ‘Once inside, he was quickly overcome by gases caused by the cargo and fell unconscious, losing his grip on the ladder and falling.’
Although he was rescued from the hold, he died in hospital. No senior officers were aware of his entry to the hold, and the proper SMS procedures had not been followed, the club said.
The club said such cases were not restricted to any particular ship type, crew nationality, rank or age —but were instead ‘caused only by seafarers being unaware of, or disregarding the proper procedures, guidelines and advice’.