An Australian seafarer was crushed to death on board the Bahamas-flagged Skandi Pacific on 14 July, the second crew death in a week off the Pilbara.
The fatalities follow the serious injury of two crewmen on board a bulk carrier in Port Hedland in February.
Father of four Andrew Kelly, 39, was crushed between a moving mini-container and a cargo skip while attempting to secure cargo in heavy weather in the early hours of 14 July, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) reported on 15 July.
Skandi Pacific had stopped working cargo with drilling platform Atwood Osprey due to heavy seas. It was 155 km northwest of Dampier, when a wave breached the deck and shifted cargo on the anchor handling supply vessel, ATSB reported.
National secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), Paddy Crumlin, said in a statement, “My and all the MUA’s thoughts are with the Kelly family in particular along with his workmates on this unfortunate day. This tragedy should be a timely punctuation for pause for those advocating the deregulation of the industry.”
The death comes only four days after a seafarer fell overboard from bulk carrier Hyundai Dangjin at Cape Lambert, Western Australia.
The second mate was reading the draught marks from a rope ladder when he fell from the Liberia-flagged ore carrier.
A seafarer on deck raised the alarm before jumping into the ocean to attempt a rescue, ATSB reported. The third mate, also on deck, threw a lifebuoy.
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The drowning mate reached it but was unable to remain with it and stay afloat, according to ATSB reports. His body was recovered shortly after.
The seafarer, who went to his rescue, however, managed to swim back to the ship where he was treated for hypothermia.
Meanwhile, in February 2014 two crewmen were seriously injured on board Happy Buccaneer at Roy Hill wharf in Port Hedland after being crushed by a falling spreader.
On the morning of 23 February the crewmen were clearing space for stacking hatch covers to access a load of modules for the wharf pilings. Roy Hill is the private berth at Port Hedland under construction to service Hancock Prospecting’s iron ore exports set to ship out before the end of the year.
At the time the bosun had freed a line hook and signalled to the second mate to raise the hook.
“When the technician and the bosun were about half way along the side of load spreaders, the two ABs saw the topmost load spreader lift up and start to slide off the top of the pack,” ATSB reported. “They shouted warnings to the second mate and the two men, however, there was not enough time for either of the men to move clear and they were both struck by the load spreader.”
The chief mate heard the crash and the cries of the injured men and called for medical assistance. Both men suffered leg fractures.