Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2011

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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Page 67 of 79

3LZZVUZ 3LHYULK Investigations USCG Casualty No Way Out A mariner perishes while trapped inside a confined space. by MS. CAROLYN STEELE Technical Writer W hen a man inexplicably vanishes aboard a 964- IRRW FRQWDLQHU VKLS ÀQGLQJ KLP LV D GDXQWLQJ task. Such a challenge faced crewmembers aboard WKH 0 9 London Express, D *HUPDQ ÁDJJHG YHVVHO PRRUHG LQ 6DYDQQDK *D RQ 2FWREHU Two days and two nights would pass before his body was found. The circumstances surrounding his dis- appearance were mysterious, and the condition in which he was found only raised more questions. Was this an accident or foul play? ;PTLSPUL 2Q WKH DIWHUQRRQ RI 2FWREHU ZKLOH WKH YHVVHO ZDV moored in Savannah for cargo operations, the engi- neering department was overhauling the number six cylinder on the main engine in preparation for the YR\DJH WR 1RUIRON 9D %\ S P WKH FUHZ KDG ÀQLVKHG ZRUN DQG FOHDQHG the engine room. The crewmembers requested per- mission from the second engineer to go to dinner and headed to the changing room. The second engineer and the relief second engineer remained to close up WKH VFDYHQJH DLU UHFHLYHU DQG ÀQLVK D IHZ RGG MREV $W S P WKH UHOLHI VHFRQG HQJLQHHU FORVHG WKH door on the aft end of the scavenge air receiver and saw the second engineer close the forward door. The relief second engineer then left the engine room alone to change for dinner. He did not see if the second engineer left the engine room. Missing Crewmember $W S P ZKLOH WKH FUHZ ZDV KDYLQJ GLQQHU WKH ship's steward told the chief engineer that the second HQJLQHHU ZDV DEVHQW IRU WKH PHDO 8QFRQFHUQHG WKH chief engineer said he guessed the second engineer 68 Proceedings Fall 2011 had decided to skip dinner and rest up before depar- ture that evening. $W S P WKH FKLHI HQJLQHHU ZDV SUHSDULQJ WKH engine room for departure when he realized that the second engineer had not reported to the engine control room as required. He telephoned the man's stateroom and got no answer. He then telephoned the EULGJH DQG LQIRUPHG WKH FKLHI RIÀFHU WKDW WKH VHFRQG engineer had not shown up. 7KH FKLHI RIÀFHU WROG KLP WR VHDUFK WKH HQJLQH URRP while he checked the second engineer's stateroom and the rest of the ship's superstructure. At this point neither man was concerned; they still thought the engineer had probably overslept. Search $W S P WKH FKLHI RIÀFHU FKHFNHG WKH VHFRQG HQJL- neer's stateroom. It was empty. The bed was made. He then contacted the forward and after mooring stations and told them to check and see if the sec- RQG HQJLQHHU ZDV LQ WKH DUHD 7KH FKLHI RIÀFHU WKHQ searched the ship's superstructure from the bridge down, deck by deck. The chief mate and the second relief engineer walked through the engine room looking for the missing man. They opened the aft door to the scavenge air UHFHLYHU DQG EULHÁ\ VKRQH D ÁDVKOLJKW LQWR WKH VSDFH to see if he was inside. 7KH FKLHI RIÀFHU WROG WKH FKLHI HQJLQHHU WKDW WKH VHF- ond engineer was still nowhere to be found. The chief engineer suggested that the missing man might have gone ashore earlier. He checked the deck log, but there was no record that the second engineer had logged out, and the gangway watchman reported he had not seen him go ashore. fro m

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