An officer aboard the chemical oil tanker Nabucco died following an accident at Associated British Ports (ABP) Terminal number 1 jetty in Saltend, Hull, according to an accident report released on February 15.

The accident occurred on June 26, 2017, as the GEFO-operated tanker was berthed alongside in Saltend to load cargo for its next port call in Antwerp, Belgium.

As outlined in the report, the chief officer, a 42-year-old French national, was working alone on the platform of the accommodation ladder when he fell from the platform between the tanker and the quay into the water.

The officer fell into the water as he was trying to stow the accommodation ladder of the Luxemborug-flagged vessel which was necessary because the water level had dropped about 1.7 meters since high-water. The accident report pointed to the fact that the officer did not wear a life vest and a safety harness with lifeline. When he fell overboard, he probably sustained a head injury during the fall. The decision of the C/O not to use protective equipment may have been influenced by time pressure because of the ebb tide and the associated falling water level, the report further said.

Rescue boats arrived within 10 minutes and a helicopter within 15 minutes at the site.

However, the search was not successful and there was no sign of the missing C/O. His body was discovered on July 5, 2017, some 30 km downstream from the accident site.

After looking into the accident, Luxembourg’s Administration for Technical Investigations (AET) recommended the vessel operator to evaluate its current level of safety management systems (SMS) implementation together with all involved parties and, in respect of the results of the evaluation, to take corrective actions, where deemed necessary, to improve both the effectiveness of its SMS system and the level of safety culture on board its vessels.

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