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The elecrician on board the Marshall Islands registered Probo Panda died from a heart attack following a suspected electric shock while the ship was at anchor off Gladstone in Queensland on 11 May 2005, according to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation report released today.

The electrician died while working on one of the ship's engine room light fittings. He had been missing for several hours and was only found after a search of the vessel was instigated by the master.

The ATSB report into the fatality on board the products / oil / bulk / ore carrier Probo Panda, states that it is likely that the electrician was crouching on a deep frame at the lowest level of the engine room so he could reach the light fitting. He may have received an electric shock which knocked him off balance, causing him to fall between the deep frame and an adjacent pipe. The subsequent exertions, attempting to climb free probably induced a coronary artery occlusion.

The report concludes that the electrician had a pre existing heart condition, coronary artery atheroma and, that the medical examination standards used to asses him were inadequate in terms of detecting conditions such as coronary heart disease.

The report also concludes that working on live electrical equipment and not implementing the measures outlined in the ships safety management system increased the likelihood of the electrician receiving an electrical shock. Also, working alone in an isolated area for an extended period of time without supervision or monitoring resulted in the electrician not being found in time to administer first aid.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from the website.

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Last update 01 April 2011