On 18 December 2016, the bulk carrier Graig Rotterdam was discharging a deck cargo of packaged timber at anchor in Alexandria Port, Egypt. At 1109, the bosun, a Chinese national, fell overboard and into a barge that was secured alongside after the timber deck cargo stack on which he was standing partially collapsed. Although the ship’s crew provided first-aid following the accident, the bosun later died of his injuries.
Poor stevedoring practices probably contributed to the unsecured cargo stack collapsing, and no measures were in place to prevent the bosun from falling overboard as a result
With the deck cargo lashings removed, the cargo packages had insufficient racking strength to counter the effects of ship movement, cargo repositioning, dunnage displacement, barges securing to deck cargo stacks, and cargo discharge operations over a prolonged period
Poor stevedoring practices that had previously been witnessed by the ship’s crew were not discussed and so were allowed to continue
Graig Ship Management Limited has been recommended (2017/149) to reinforce and, as appropriate, modify its Safety Management System with respect to the carriage of timber cargoes to ensure:
A lifeline or other means for attaching a safety harness is available to counter the risk of ship’s crew or shore stevedores falling from the top of a deck cargo stack or as a result of a deck cargo stack collapse
Where possible, appoint a master or chief officer with experience of the cargo type being carried
Ship’s crew proactively engage with shore stevedores for the purpose of maintaining a safe system of work during cargo operations
Norlat Shipping Limited AS has been recommended (2017/150) to ensure that all cargo information, as required by the International Maritime Organization’s Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes, is provided to the master or his representative prior to loading cargo for all ships that it charters to carry timber deck cargo.