Marine safety investigations & reports

Crew member fatality following a fall on board the bulk carrier Hanjin Sydney at sea 2 February 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 2 February 2011, the boatswain (bosun) on board the Panamanian registered bulk carrier Hanjin Sydney died as a result of injuries he received after falling about 25 m from the hatch coaming of the ship's number eight cargo hold to the tank top below.

The bosun had climbed onto the top of the hatch coaming to free a cargo runner that had jammed in the head of a davit the crew were using to lift iron ore residue from the hold. He lost his balance while pulling on the wire to free it and fell into the empty cargo hold.

The ATSB investigation found that the crew had previous experience with the cargo runner jamming in the head of the davit. However, nothing had been done to prevent it from happening again.

As a result of the accident, Hanjin Ship Management have instigated the requirement for the ship's safety officer to be more proactive in tool box meetings and safety 'walk arounds' to ensure that he is aware of issues which may not be automatically brought to his attention.

The ATSB is satisfied that this safety action adequately addresses the report's identified safety issue.

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Alternate: [Download  DOC: 4.88MB]


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Safety Issue

Go to MO-2011-002-SI-01 -

Learning from previous events

Prior to 2 February 2011, the crew had encountered problems with the lifting wire jamming in the head of the davit when the bucket was hoisted too high. However, nothing had been done to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Safety issue details
Issue number: MO-2011-002-SI-01
Who it affects: All seafarers
Status: Adequately addressed
General details
Date: 02 February 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 13:40 Ships time   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 585 km south south west of Davao, Philippines    
State: International    
Release date: 02 August 2011   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Vessel details

Vessel details
Vessel Hanjin Sydney  
Flag Panama  
IMO 8606329  
Type of operation Ocean passage  
Damage to vessel Nil  
Departure point Pohang, South Korea  
Destination Port Hedland, Western Australia  
Last update 03 April 2020