A Filipino crew member of a bulk carrier carrying coal from Gladstone to Korea is in a Brisbane hospital after jumping from the vessel after his clothes caught fire.
The Korean-owned but Panama-flagged Samsun Boryeong was heading north of Mackay when the accident happened. The crewman is believed suffered burns in the incident but was quickly rescued from the ocean by lifeboat.
He was later transferred by helicopter to Shute Harbour, north of Mackay, before being taken to hospital in the township of Proserpine. The man was due to be transferred to Brisbane.
An Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokeswoman denied reports that there had been an explosion on board, instead describing the incident as being caused by a spark that ignited the man's clothes.
ITF inspector Graham Bragg said it was not clear as yet whether the ship is currently covered by an ITF agreement.
“It is always a worry when these Flag of Convenience ships are not covered by ITF agreements. Under the Phillipine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) agreement, crew get next to nothing in compensation after an accident”, Bragg said.
The incident marks a continual stream of accidents associated with FOC and foreign-owned vessels over the past few months including the Sheng Neng 1 grounding on the Great Barrier Reef. The MUA continues to call for Australia to take control of its shipping through a suite of shipping reforms and incentives which the Federal Government is close to making final decisions on.
Michael Meagher: 0410482367