12th Sep. 05

On one of my ships a seaman died due to a sudden heart attack. It seemed to have happened due to an abrupt change of the air prevailing temperature. It happened like this.

The ship was in a Japanese port and it was very cold outside; may be 3 to 40c. My oiler and I came down to the engine room to start the plant and purifier too, as we were expecting to sail soon. I was starting up the machinery and my oiler was in the purifier room, topping up gear oil level and keeping an eye on things. So he was quite a long time in the purifier room where the temperature was obviously much warmer than on deck.

After completing the routine I came to the ER and at the same time I got a call from the bridge asking to send the oiler on deck for stations. My oiler went up taking the warm jacket with him and was walking on deck while donning it. After 7 to 10 minutes I got an emergency call from bridge and was informed that my oiler had fainted on deck, and his body had stiffened.

Everybody was running. I also ran on to the deck where the Captain was calling an ambulance. The man was removed to the hospital even while the ship set sail. The very same night we got a message that the oiler had succumbed to a heart attack.

Later we were informed by the company that it happened because of a sudden change in atmospheric temperature; his old age may have also affected the fatal outcome.