TWO crewmembers have been seriously injured in an accident on the Hong Kong-flagged bulker Shanghai Spirit (IMO 9326328) as it was anchored off Port Alma in Queensland on Sunday (January 29).
According to a summary of the incident issued by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the seafarers were doing routine maintenance from scaffolding in one of the vessel’s cargo holds when it toppled over at 1445 on Sunday.
They were provided first aid on board before emergency responders reached the vessel.
Queensland Ambulance said the crewmembers were winched off the vessel and taken to Rockhampton Hospital via helicopter.
A statement from the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service said upon reaching the hospital, one of the seafarers was rushed to surgery with a broken femur and life-threatening injuries, while the second patient suffered spinal injuries.
One of the seafarers had been in critical condition, but is now in serious condition (as of Tuesday afternoon), while the second is in stable condition, according to a spokesperson for Rockhampton Base Hospital, where the crewmembers are being cared for.
A spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) confirmed there had been an incident on the Shanghai Spirit and said the Authority received a report of the accident at about 2200 on January 29.
“Two crew members had fallen from a ladder in the ship’s cargo hold and sustained serious injuries,” the spokesperson said.
“Queensland Ambulance liaised directly with the ship to arrange medevac of the two crew members.”
The spokesperson said AMSA surveyors would inspect the vessel to ensure it complies with the relevant safety requirements for vessels operating in Australian waters.
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) co-ordinator – Australia Dean Summers said one of the injured seafarers had broken legs, a broken pelvis, broken ribs and internal injuries.
“We understand he fell 14 metres into the hold,” he said.
“We’re putting pressure on the vessel owners and the P&I club to live up to their responsibilities to seafarers.”
The ATSB said it had begun an investigation into the accident and is collecting evidence, including interviewing directly involved parties.
The evidence will then be analysed and the ATSB plans to draft a report, which will be forwarded to parties for comment prior to the completion and release of the final report.
According to the latest information from Lloyd’s List Intelligence (as at 1530 January 31), the vessel is still at berth at Port Alma.
The Shanghai Spirit is a DWT 18,828 bulker with the capacity to carry 22,563 m3 of bale or 23,161 m3 of grain in its four holds.
Its beneficial owner is listed as Asia Maritime Pacific Holdings Limited, its registered owner is Shanghai Spirit Shipping Limited, and its Commercial operator and technical manager are listed as Asia Maritime Pacific (Shanghai) Limited.
The vessel’s P&I club is listed as West of England Mutual Shipowners Protection & Indemnity Association (Luxemburg).