Fatigue Factor Discounted In Crew Death Off WA

Australian and Denmark fall out over cause of death for seafarer as MUA marks first anniversary of the death of delegate Trevor Moore

The  Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report has found fatigue was a cause of the death of a seafarer on board of the Danish flagged vessel Thor Gitta off Fremantle last May. But the fatigue factor has been rejected by the Danish Maritime Authority.

The seafarer was on a a six hours on/six hours off crew roster  when he fell after he had tried to secure lashing bins in the cargo hold.

The investigation found that a risk analysis had not been undertaken before the bins were introduced into service and that the bins had been inadequately secured in an area where there were no dedicated lashing  points.

However it also found that the seafarer was probably affected by fatigue as a result of the duty roster and the ship's movement in the heavy seas.

The ATSB pointed out that the effect that a six hours on/six hours off roster has on a crew member's level of fatigue had been considered at length in a number of studies undertaken since the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping and ILO requirements were introduced. 

These included several conducted by the Cardiff University, the UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch, the International Transport Workers Federation and the University of Wellington for Maritime New Zealand.

"The unions believe fatigue is a killer in shipping industry and there are many studies to back this," said MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin. "Every death is one too many and every factor leading to yet another fatality in the shipping industry off our shores must be considered."

The death of the Danish seafarer was on of three off the Australian coast in 2008.

MUA member Trevor Moore, 43, IR, was killed tragically on board the Karratha Spirit a year today on Christmas Eve.

The Northern NSW is holding a special tribute to Trevor after the stopwork meeting on January 19 to present a framed ACTU award to his family.  The presentation was planned for December but postponed due to ill health of Trevor's son, Justin. 

The fatality is still subject to an inquiry.