The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch has found that poor stevedoring practices probably contributed to a fatal accident in December 2016 when a stack of timber collapsed on board the bulk carrier Graig Rotterdam while in Egypt.
The incident occurred on December 18, 2016 as the UK-flagged Graig Rotterdam was discharging a deck cargo of packaged timber at anchor in Alexandria Port, Egypt. According to the MAIB, the bosun, a Chinese national, fell overboard and into a barge that was secured alongside after the stack he was standing on partially collapsed. Although the ship’s crew provided first-aid following the accident, the bosun later died of his injuries.
The report shows that the MV Graig Rotterdam loaded a cargo of packaged sawn timber in the Finish ports of Rahja and Oulu for discharge in Alexandria, Egypt. This was the first time a timber cargo had been carried on board the ship.
The MAIB investigation determined that poor stevedoring practices probably contributed to the unsecured cargo stack collapsing, and no measures were in place to prevent the bosun from falling overboard as a result.
According to Safety Issues identified in the report, the MAIB found that with the deck cargo lashings removed, the cargo packages had insufficient racking strength to counter the effects of ship movement, cargo repositioning, dunnage displacement, barges securing to deck cargo stacks, and cargo discharge operations, over a prolonged period. Further, poor stevedoring practices that had previously been witnessed by the ship’s crew were not discussed and so were allowed to continue, the report stated.
The MAIB has recommended that Graig Ship Management Limited reinforce and, as appropriate, modify its Safety Management System with respect to the carriage of timber cargoes.
The MAIB’s ‘poor stevedoring’ determination is illustrated by the following photos included in the report: