While operating in Spain, two crewmen were lost in separate accidents on the workboat GPS Battler.
On 13 August 2014, the vessel’s master drowned soon after the open tender returning him from the marina in Almeira to the anchored workboat was overwhelmed in choppy seas. The tender flooded rapidly and started to submerge. The master initially swam clear but soon lost consciousness and could not be revived.
On 5 January 2015, a crewman joining GPS Battler as mate fell into the water from quayside in Marin while waiting for the access arrangements to the vessel to be made safe. The mate was soon motionless and was recovered from the water by the Spanish Coastguard.
Alcohol consumption was a contributing factor in both cases.
The key safety lessons identified were:
13 August 2014
the open tender was not suitable for use in choppy seas
alcohol consumption probably relaxed the master’s approach to risk
the master’s chances of survival were reduced by not wearing a lifejacket
5 January 2015
the mate was intoxicated and probably fell or lost his balance
the mate probably suffered from cold water shock when he entered the water
the workboat’s crew were unable to recover the mate from the water and delayed calling for external assistance
A recommendation (2015/143) has been made to GPS Battler’s managers aimed at ensuring that the actions it has taken following these accidents to improve the safety management of its workboats, particularly with regard to its drug and alcohol policy, are effective.