Fall of a suspended load on general cargo vessel ZEA Servant injuring two crew

What happened?

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published an Accident Investigation Report 11/2020 relating to an incident on the general cargo vessel ZEA Servant in Campbeltown, Scotland. Two crewmen were injured when a suspended load fell and struck them.

The suspended load was the cargo hatch lifting gear; as it was lifted by crane from where it had been stored, a shackle on the gear snagged. The crane was stopped but not before the fibre sling attaching the gear to the crane’s hook parted under tension, and the load fell to the deck, striking the two crewmen. Both crewmen had been standing close to the suspended load in order to guide it out its storage area, where previous snaggings had occurred.

What were the causes? What went wrong?

  • Both injured crewmen were standing within the hazardous zone beneath a suspended load, but no action was taken to halt the operation;
  • The operation being undertaken had not been subject to a risk assessment and the storage areas was inappropriate due to the snagging hazards.

More detailed findings are found in the full report here.