A high level of alcohol may have led to the fatal fall of the second engineer onboard the general cargo ship MV Khosrov Bey while underway in November 2018, according to a report by Transport Malta’s Marine Safety Investigation Unit.
An investigation into the incident showed that the high level of alcohol may have impaired the seafarer’s cognition or caused poor coordination.
At noon time on November 3, the chief engineer, the third engineer, the electrical engineer, and one motorman were all in the engine control room.
The second engineer was making his way down to the engine-room to take over the watch from the third engineer. The electrical engineer, from the control room’s window, saw the second engineer descend the first few steps of the stairway from the upper deck to the engine control room platform.
After a while, the electrical engineer looked out the window again, and saw the second engineer lying on the floor. The electrical engineer alerted all personnel in the ECR, who all rushed out to help him. The master was informed and he swiftly proceeded to the location.
The second engineer was reportedly found unconscious and, on observation, neither a breath nor a pulse was detected. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was commenced by the crew. The master ordered the crew to lift the second engineer and transfer him to his cabin, after which the relevant authorities were informed and the vessel diverted towards the Istanbul Strait, sector Turkeli, for medical assistance.
Later on, a medical boat came alongside and the second engineer was eventually confirmed dead.
The autopsy report revealed no narcotic or psychotropic drugs, but confirmed a presence of ethanol in blood (0.253 %) and in the eye fluid (0.267 %). The MSIU has issued two recommendations to the company aimed at reducing the risks associated with stairs and the consumption of alcohol.
The incident occurred after the vessel exited the Istanbul Strait and completed bunkering operations off Turkey’s coast. At the time, the ship was on its way from Bari, Italy to Reni, Ukraine.