A crewmember on a 19-ton cargo ship was fatally injured as a result of a fall. The crewman had been working in a steel basket attached, high above the deck, to the on-board electric provision crane.
The crewmember was said to be painting at the time of his fall, and the crane was not suitable for lifting personnel. Last year, when a similar occurrence took place in Quebec, that ship’s master specified that moving forward, the on-board hoisting cable should always be carefully inspected before use.
Investigators determined that while the crewman operated the crane, the machine exceeded its set limit. The limit switch was deactivated, however, so the motor continued to operate. From his position in the basket, the bosun’s view was obstructed by the basket itself, making it impossible to know what was happening.
The winch kept pulling, which overstressed the hoisting cable and brought it into contact with the separator plate. The combination of overstress and contact with the separator plate caused the hoisting cable to split, sending the basket tumbling over 16 feet down, clattering onto the deck and spilling its passenger.
The ship was at anchor, waiting to take on cargo, when the tragedy occurred. The crewmember, whose name has not been released, was taken to the nearest hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
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