Fall into cargo tank on oil/chemical tanker Bro Arthur with loss of 1 life

Berthed at the Cargill Terminal, Port of Hamburg, Germany.

Accident Investigation Report 9/2010

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

BroArthurReport.pdf (1,553.10 kb)

Annexes (1,432.30 kb)


At 2258 on 19 February 2010, a German shore worker was fatally injured on board the oil/chemical tanker Bro Arthur. Bro Arthur had part-discharged at Rotterdam before arriving in Hamburg to offload her remaining crude palm oil cargo. A team of three cargo “sweepers” had been arranged under the operational direction of a supercargo. While exiting No 2 cargo tank on completion of the “sweeping” operation, one of the “sweepers” fell to the bottom of the tank.

Safety Issues

  • Bro Arthur’s safety management lacked direction in a number of organisational and equipment areas

  • There were issues relating to superficial risk assessments, inaccurate atmosphere testing routines, weak control of contractors, an unwillingness to confront individuals when their condition compromised safety, non-compliance with mandatory safety drills and unsuitable casualty recovery equipment


Recommendations have been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) which are designed to:

  • improve the control and safety of shore contractors who are employed on board vessels in port
  • highlight the need for the provision of suitable portable rescue equipment that can be used for the recovery of personnel from deep cargo tanks
  • ensure ships’ staff are trained in the use of such equipment

Recommendations have also been made to Bro Arthur’s management company and the manufacturer of atmosphere monitoring equipment supplied to the vessel

A safety flyer (PDF, 727KB), which contains details of the accident and appropriate safety lessons for promulgation to the industry via the ICS and the International Group of P&I Clubs has also been produced following this investigation.

This report was published on 19 August 2010.

Published 23 January 2015