B1/2006M MS SINGELDIEP, fatal accident in Kotka port on 11.1 2006
The accident took place in Kotka port on 11 January 2006, when the hatch covers of the vessel sailing under the flag of the Netherlands Antilles were to be opened as loading restarted. The ship had a Polish crew and Polish officers.
The second mate and the AB of the ship had opened the hatch covers together and the mate drove the crane meant to lift and move hatch covers on top of hatch No. 1, closest to the bow. The AB thought that the mate would leave the crane there. The mate, however, started to move the hatch cover alone and he was lifting the cover when it came loose and fell into the cargo hold.
When falling, the hatch cover pulled the crane from its rails and the other end of the crane collapsed over the hatch edge into the cargo hold. The mate, who had been in the cockpit on top of the crane, fell a distance of c. 5 metres on paper rolls and was seriously injured. The victim died from his injuries at the hospital.
The investigation revealed that several corresponding accidents have taken place with the said types of cranes. The victims of the accidents had worked alone, which has been contrary to the instructions. Dutch authorities have been aware of corresponding types of accidents, but no improvements have been required to be made in the lifting appliances and there is no knowledge of other measures required. The shipping company had provided instructions regarding work on the crane and emphasised the dangers of working alone.