TAIC report – log ship seaman fatally injured when cable snapped

25 Jun 2020
Photo-diagram showing location of crew and cables just before the accident
Photo-diagram showing location of crew and cables just before the accident

An able seaman on a ship loading logs died when a cable snapped under too much tension and securing equipment recoiled, says the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) in a report published this morning.

The accidents occurred at Eastland Port, Gisborne, on the night of 3 April 2019.

Chief Investigator of Accidents Aaron Holman says the crew of the bulk carrier Coresky OL were using a crane to tension a wire rope to secure a load of logs to the ship’s deck. 

“The wire rope was zig-zagged like a single bootlace over the cargo, through a series of pulleys held in place by foot wires that ran up the sides of the cargo,” said Mr Holman.  

Two able seamen were standing close to the wire rope to monitor the tension applied by the crane. As the heaving stopped, a foot wire parted, securing equipment recoiled, and part of the equipment struck and fatally injured one of the able seamen. 

The load being applied by the crane, combined with the configuration of the pulleys used to tension the securing wires, snapped the wire.

TAIC says the vessel’s crew had not enough information on the hazards associated with wires under tension because the cargo securing manual provided no guidance on a safe system of work for cargo securing operations. 

“The manual was silent on this because the operator’s safety management system didn’t include a safety assessment for cargo securing operations,” said Mr Holman.

“A ship’s crew should know about these sorts of details and the potential dangers, and their employers – the ship operators – should have safety management systems that include appropriate procedures and guidance and a safe system of work.”

The Commission is recommending that the Coresky OL’s operator, Shih Wei Navigation Co Ltd (Taiwan), carry out a comprehensive safety assessment for vessels that carry deck log cargo. 

Flag administrations, classification societies, ship operators, and crew members may all benefit from the information contained within this report.