Report finds Gisborne port death caused by snapped cable

The death occurred while crew were securing logs to a ship's deck.
The death occurred while crew were securing logs to a ship's deck. Photo credit: File / Getty

A seaman on a ship loading logs in Gisborne died after a cable snapped under too much tension, according to a report published by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) on Thursday.

The incident occurred at Eastland Port on April 3, 2019.

Aaron Holman, TAIC's chief investigator of accidents, said crew on the Coresky OL were using a crane to tension a wire rope to secure a load of logs to the ship's deck when the cable snapped.

"The wire rope was zig-zagged like a single bootlace over the cargo, through a series of pulleys held in place by foot wires that ran up the sides of the cargo."

Two crew members were standing close to the rope monitoring the tension applied by the crane when the foot wire parted and the part of the securing equipment recoiled, striking and fatally injuring one of them.

According to the report, the snapping of the wire was caused by a combination of the load being applied to the crane and the configuration of the pulleys used to tension the securing wires.

TAIC said the crew had not been sufficiently educated on the hazards associated with wires under tensions.

"The manual was silent on this because the operator's safety management system didn't include a safety assessment for cargo securing operations," said Holman.

"A ship's crew should know about these sorts of details and the potential dangers, and their employers  the ship operators  should have safety management systems that include appropriate procedures and guidance and a safe system of work."

The report recommended that the ship's Taiwan operator Shih Wei Navigation Co carry out a safety assessment for vessels that carry desk log cargo.