Incident report HS Bach

I do not like to speak about accidents and bad weather while travelling, but I have to say a few words about a small incident which took place on board our vessel a few days ago. One of the reasons I am doing this is for the lesson everybody learnt from it – regarding ‘safety first’ while working.  It is very important that all the seafarers pay a lot of attention when doing any kind of work, keeping themselves safe and not putting any other’s life at risk. I hope the lesson was learnt and we will all be a little more aware of everything happening around us and we’ll never forget the most important rule of seafarers’ work  – ‘safety first’.

Another reason I am writing about this is the importance of good cooperation between crew, agent and the port/local authorities. Sometimes this cooperation is crucial for the wellbeing of a seafarer (especially of one in distress) and the more helping hands are available, the better it is for the one in trouble.

A small accident took place in the engine department of our vessel a few days ago, when our very young electrician cadet was greasing the air condition fan unit.  Although all safety rules were obeyed, a second of negligence or just plain bad luck put our cadet in a very unpleasant and painful situation only 10 days before the end of his contract. His finger was caught between the belt and the wheel causing bad damage to the skin and nail and ruining his day …and the days which followed.

As we were underway to Liverpool – after first aid being offered to him – the unlucky seafarer was scheduled for a doctor visit the next morning.

Usually, when seafarers need to go to the doctor – due to an accident or just an ordinary health condition – the ship’s agent is in charge of all necessary arrangements, medical appointments and transfers from and to the vessel. When your vessel stays alongside only a few hours, you need somebody you can count on and do all these arrangements prior to the vessel’s arrival and this person is the agent.

In our case, the agent did his part of the job from a distance – via telephone – and the first medical appointment went well, although our cadet spent more than 5 hours for a simple cleaning and dressing of the injured finger (most of the time was wasted on the transfer from the port to the hospital and on waiting). With the injury treated as an emergency, the remodeling and repairing of the nail bed was scheduled for the next day in a different hospital. When you live and work ashore, you can adjust your schedule according to your medical appointment, but, when you work on a vessel you are not the only one to decide. The vessel may be staying alongside for a few hours – in which case you can consider yourself lucky if you have time for a quick check up – or cargo operations can be delayed and there is still time for a complete treatment.

In our case, vessel was scheduled to leave the port of Liverpool today at midday, so there was no chance for the surgery to take place in the morning – between 8 and 12 o’clock – taking into account the fact that at least one hour was needed for one way trip to the hospital. The much needed operation had to be postponed for the next port – on Saturday evening – and our cadet was supposed to wait one more day for his important repair surgery. Finally things turned out for the better when vessel’s departure was re – scheduled for later today and our cadet was offered assistance by the Romanian Honorary Consul, Mr. Viorel Raducanescu who escorted him to the hospital and pulled the necessary strings … With a little more help from the agent – lots of telephones and e-mails – and the very valuable helping hand from our Consul, the small procedure was successfully undertaken and our cadet came back on the vessel safe and in due time.

1st Lesson learnt (for the cadet and all the other crew members) – safety first no matter what job you are doing!

2nd Lesson learnt (for everybody on board) – Do not underestimate the importance of human relations and do not hesitate to ask for help whenever you are in need! The Consulate and Embassy offices of your country, the Seafarer’s Centres and the agents of your vessel will always assist you in any sort of trouble you may be at some point (with or without your fault).

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2 Responses to Incident report HS Bach

  1. sean says:

    hello oana i hope the cadet is now recovering from his accident and excited to be going home after the end of his contract.i hoped you and your husband[capt] enjoyed your visit to liverpool beatles city.i wish you and crew have a safe voyage and hope to see you all again
    take care oana.

    sean..driver liverpool seafarers centre.

    • travelc1 says:

      Thank you, Sean.Yes, we had a wonderful day in Liverpool and we hope to come back on holiday. I will write about our visit soon. Our cadet is very well now, anxious to go home.We wish you and everybody there in Seafarers Centre all the best!

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