Slipped messenger line while securing tug tow wire on bulk carrier Wah Shan with loss of 1 life

Location: River Humber, England.

Accident Investigation Report 18/2013

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

WahShan.pdf (5,242.66 kb)


On 2 October 2012 a crew member, on board bulk carrier Wah Shan, was struck by a messenger line and fatally injured. He had been attempting to secure a tug’s tow wire in preparation for the vessel berthing at Immingham, England.

Safety Issues

  • the risks involved in securing the tug’s tow wire had not been properly considered
  • the aft mooring party used poor seamanship practices and did not function as an effective team
  • the configuration of the aft mooring deck did not provide an obvious method of heaving up the towline safely


Wah Shan’s managers have been recommended (2013/220) to improve their training programmes to develop good seamanship practices and leadership skills.

This report was published on 17 July 2013.

Published 23 January 2015