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Report raises safety concerns following death of man on ship in King's Lynn

A cook on board a ship docked in Lynn died when a hatch cover fell and crushed him, an investigation has found.

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) published today (Thursday, December 13) has raised safety issues after able seafarer Alfred Ismaili, 36, died while working on board the Liberian registered cargo vessel SMN Explorer on February 1, 2018.

Mr Ismaili, an Albanian national, was part of a working party stowing cargo slings used for the discharge of the ship's cargo.

Cargo vessel SMN Explorer. Picture: Marine Accident Investigation Branch (5998324)
Cargo vessel SMN Explorer. Picture: Marine Accident Investigation Branch (5998324)

The accident happened when the crewman climbed up the inside of the open hatch cover after its locking pins had been removed.

The report said: "The accident was the result of procedural inadequacies and a lapse of supervision.

"The investigation identified that the vessel's safety management system was immature and the safety culture on board the vessel was weak.

"Risk assessments had not been conducted for routine tasks and a safe system of work had not been developed for opening and closing the forecastle (fo'c's'le) stowage space hatch cover."

The report says recommendations have been made to the vessel's managers, Sky Mare Navigation Co, following the fatal accident.

It adds the vessel's chief officer and the other able seafarer "tried desperately" to manually lift the hatch cover to release Mr Ismaili, but it was too heavy.

The hatch cover was raised by a dockside crane a couple of minutes after and Mr Ismaili was lifted unconscious on to the deck, where he received first aid.

Paramedics arrived around 14 minutes later but they were unable to revive him.

According to the report, factors which may have impacted Mr Ismaili's actions include time pressure or a sense of urgency, alcohol consumption, an "immature safety management system" and a "weak safety culture".

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