• Published: 23 Feb 2022

Man overboard incident

Man overboard image
Man overboard image

Cause & Consequence

  • Handling, lifting or carrying
  • Fall from height

Description of Incident

An MSF members vessel had just come alongside its allocated berth, the deck watch had changed and had not been involved in the previous berthing toolbox talk but had received a comprehensive hand over from the outgoing watch.

Backloaded deck cargo obscured the aft mooring activities from the bridge team. Both of the deck crew were involved in securing the aft of the vessel. One of the deck crew was making the aft spring secure, and was unable to see his fellow AB. This AB was preparing to send a heaving line ashore to the linesman to run stern lines.

This crewmember decided that he would throw the heaving line to the shoreside from a position leaning out between the stern bitts (Position X in the diagram). The heaving line should have been thrown from the top of the crash barrier walkway (Position A in the diagram), at the backspring bitts (Position B in the diagram) or leave the throwing to a watchmate, who is more comfortable with throwing from any position on the main deck. (Position C in the diagram). Both should work on the same rope until completely fast and then move on to the next rope. Unfortunately, the crew member concerned overbalanced and fell out between the bitts, quick reactions from the linesman and the AB`s fellow watchmate, ensured that the casualty was safely retrieved from the water. The MOB was wearing safety Wellington boots, which slipped, which did not help in maintaining his balance, he was also not wearing a life jacket/work vest. This had the potential to be very serious, fortunately he only suffered a bruise to his face.

On previous berthing operations, fellow crew members had seen their fellow crew member, adopting this position between the bitts, to throw the heaving line ashore. This should have alerted them to “Stop the Job”.

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