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Able seaman loading logs on Gisborne ship died after cable snapped - report

An able seaman on a ship loading logs died when a cable snapped after too much tension was applied, causing securing equipment to recoil in Gisborne last year.

The incident occurred on bulk carrier Coresky OL at the Eastland Port on the night of April 3, 2019, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission said in its final report on the accident, released today.

The incident occurred after the crew used a crane to tension a wire rope to help secure a load of logs to the ship's deck, chief investigator of accidents Aaron Holman said.

Mr Holman said the wire rope had been "zig-zagged like a single bootlace over the cargo" through several pulleys secured by foot wires running up the sides of the cargo, with two able seamen standing near the wire rope to monitor the tension being applied by the crane.

A foot wire parted after the heaving stopped, causing the securing equipment to recoil. Part of the equipment then struck and fatally injured one of the able seamen.

The load applied by the crane, along with the configuration of the pulleys used to tension the securing wires, caused the wire to snap, he said.

Investigators said the vessel's crew did not have enough information on the hazards associated with wires under tension, adding that the cargo securing manual did not provide guidance on a safe system of work for cargo securing operations.

“The manual was silent on this because the operator's safety management system didn't include a safety assessment for cargo securing operations.

"A ship's crew should know about these sorts of details and the potential dangers, and their employers – the ship operators – should have safety management systems that include appropriate procedures and guidance and a safe system of work."

Coresky OL's operator, Shih Wei Navigation Co Ltd of Taiwan, has been recommended to carry out a comprehensive safety assessment for vessels carrying deck log cargo.