Fall into void space during cargo operations on general cargo vessel Scot Pioneer with loss of 1 life

Location: Berthed at Belview Port, Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

Accident Investigation Report 13/2012

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened and safety lessons:

ScotPioneer.pdf (662.35 kb)


At 1438 (UTC+1) on 27 October 2011, an able seaman (AB) on board the UK registered cargo vessel Scot Pioneer fell into a void space at the forward end of the ship’s cargo hold. The vessel was loading cargo at Belview Port, Waterford, Eire. Although paramedics treated the AB at the scene, he died from his injuries a short while later.

Safety Issues

  • the opening in the portable bulkhead was designed to provide ventilation to the hold, not a means of access
  • the footbridge was an ad-hoc arrangement and was not fitted with any means to prevent a person from falling
  • several of the crew involved in the cargo operations recognised the risks of using the footbridge but did not raise their concerns on board


In view of the action taken following this accident, no recommendations have been made.

This report was published on 1 June 2012.

Published 23 January 2015