Seafarers Crushed in Heavy Lift Accident at Port Hedland

Mike Schuler
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February 25, 2015

MV Happy Buccaneer file photo (c) BigLift

Two seafarers were seriously injured this week at Western Australia’s Port Hedland after being crushed in an accident aboard a heavy lift ship.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau reports that the incident happened at approximately 0900 on Monday aboard the Netherlands-flagged MV Happy Buccaneer while alongside the Roy Hill wharf in Port Hedland. At the time accident, the crew was using one of the ship’s cranes to move a stack of four load spreaders – 1.5 ton steel pads placed under heavy cargoes – into the cargo hold of the ship. Two crew members disconnected the slings from the stack and the slings were then being lifted clear by the crane, the ATSB said.

As the slings were being lifted, one caught on the top load spreader and it was tipped off the stack, pinning the two crew members by the legs against the nearby bulkhead, according to the ATSB.

Both men suffered serious leg injuries and were freed with the assistance of a shore rescue team. The men were taken to a hospital ashore for treatment where they are listed in stable condition, according to local media reports.

The ATSB has launched an investigation into the incident and will work to prepare a final final report due in July 2015.

The 13,740 DWT MV Happy Buccaneer is owned by Amsterdam-based BigLift and features two Huisman cranes with 700mt lifting capacity each.

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