Crush incident during manoeuvring of hatch cover on cargo vessel CEC Crusader with loss of 1 life

Location: 1.8 miles north of Foreness Point, Kent, England.

Accident Investigation Report 27/2002

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

cec-crusader.pdf (178.73 kb)


On 22 November 2001, CEC Crusader’s chief officer was fatally struck by a swinging hatch cover while the 6,714gt Bahamas-registered general cargo/container vessel was at anchor in Margate Road in the River Thames Estuary.

Safety Issues

  • the chief officer’s placed himself in immediate danger by working in a restricted space between the bulkhead and a suspended hatch cover

  • the roll and pitch of the vessel caused the hatch cover to swing

  • casualty and deck crew complacency in acceptance of an unsafe practice

  • established practice of removing and replacing hatch covers while at sea

  • lack of effective risk assessment with regard to the dangers involved with transferring hatch covers

  • lack of company instructions and guidance as to where, and under what conditions, hatch cover removal and replacement should take place


Recommendations have been made to the manager of the vessel, Graig Ship Management Limited.

This report was published on August 2002.

Published 23 January 2015