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At about 0930 on 21 May 2009, a crew member on board the general cargo ship Thor Gitta was fatally injured while attempting to secure lashing bins in the cargo hold. At the time, the ship was about 390 miles northwest of Fremantle, Western Australia.

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

As a result of this accident, the ship's manager has implemented a range of measures on all its vessels to improve the security of bin lashing arrangements and manage the risks of carrying out tasks associated with operation of the bins. The company has also introduced a different rostering system to better manage the fatigue of watchkeepers when the ship is at sea.

The ATSB has issued one safety recommendation to the Danish Maritime Authority relating to the use of the 6 hour on/6 hour off work routine and the effect that that work routine has on a crew member's level of fatigue.

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General details
Date: 21 May 2009 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0930 (UTC+7 hours)  
Location   (show map):At sea, 390 miles off WA coast Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Fatality 
Release date: 16 December 2009  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Vessel details
Vessel: Thor Gitta 
Flag: Denmark 
IMO: 9137277 
Type of Operation: General cargo vessel 
Damage to Vessel: Nil 
Departure point:Fremantle, WA
Departure time:14:40 19 May, 2009
Destination:Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Fatal: 1001

Safety recommendation

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Last update 14 November 2018