Report: Three Mariners Die While Working in Ship’s Cargo Hold off Japan

confined space signIllustration; Image Courtesy: SmartSign/Flickr under CC BY 2.0 license

Three crew members of the Panama-flagged general cargo vessel Apollo Kita died after losing consciousnesses in the ship’s cargo hold, Nikkei reported citing local authorities.

The ship was en route from Kalimantan, Malaysia to Hanan, Japan, carrying timber on November 9, when the incident occurred.

Once found, the three men were rushed to a hospital in Ishigaki, however, they were unresponsive and declared dead. The three seafarers of Philippine nationality are believed to have asphyxiated while working in the cargo hold.

The vessel was manned by a total of 17 crew members, including a Japanese captain.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

The accident is being reported as seafarers are urged to identify measures to reduce risks of accidents in enclosed spaces. InterManager, the international trade association for the shipmanagement sector, has launched a campaign to encourage seafarers to help boost safety in enclosed spaces.

According to Captain Kuba Szymanski, InterManager Secretary General, seafarers are often considered to be part of the problem.

“We are encouraging them to be part of the solution by sharing their experiences and points of view. We want to know what approach those facing these risks think should be taken. Please tell us what you think is the best solution? Is there a simple, user friendly procedure, change or technology gadget which would be universally beneficial for colleagues working in enclosed spaces?”

Responses should be received by January 1, 2019.

World Maritime News Staff

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