The Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority (NSIA) has published its findings on a fatal man overboard accident that occurred on a cargo vessel earlier this year.
On March 6, 2022, the cargo vessel Titran was en route to Halsa in Meløy municipality to unload fishmeal at a factory. The deck crew were in the process of readying the cargo hatches by removing wedges and other sea fastening equipment on the hatch deck.
A member of the deck crew fell overboard as he was moving from the hatch deck down to the main deck. None of the other crew members witnessed the incident, and it consequently took about 20 minutes before they realised that the individual, identified as a deck cadet, was missing.
Shortly after it was discovered that the cadet was missing, local rescue services were notified, and the captain turned the vessel.
Due to uncertainty about when the cadet fell overboard, the search area was initially set too far north. After approximately two hours, the correct time was determined using the ship’s CCTV footage, and vessels were deployed to search further south where the cadet had fallen overboard.
A coverall and protective shoes were found, but not the missing person.
As the crew did not witness the missing person fall overboard, it was impossible for them to estimate the exact time of the incident.
The NSIA believes it is essential for the crew of a vessel to clearly communicate any uncertainty about when a person fell overboard to the rescue services, so that the search area can be defined accordingly.
Berge Rederi, the shipping company that owns Titran, has since implemented several measures to help improve safety, the NSIA confirmed.
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