Capt N R Anand
The vessel was a bulk carrier carrying coal. Master and 15 crew joined the ship at a port in South Korea. Around 0100 hrs on the same night (of joining) General Alarm sounded and all assembled in the Muster Station. It was found that stevedore foreman was being hauled out from cargo hold entrance #8. It was found that he entered the hatch without the permission from the duty officer. The Australian ladder entrance was declared as enclosed space, hence proper filling of checklist and ventilation was necessary before entry.
Methane was found at the entrance of booby hatch cover. Oxygen was only 6% and the stevedore’s foreman died within 6 steps of entering the hold.
The ship got saved from penalties, because the chief officer had the ship shore check list signed by the foreman, which stated that the personnel can enter the hatch only with the duty officer’s permission.
Lesson learnt :
Always follow safety procedures. Also documentation as per ship’s safety manual requirement should be complied with.