Tag Archives: health

MARITIME NEWS: Crewman hurt after accidentally releasing a life boat

A Nordic Tankers crewman broke his leg in a fall after unintentionally releasing a faulty life boat, an accident report has revealed.

The incident happened on the 5,800–dwt Nordic Nadja (built 1996) off Rotterdam on 8 October, 2011, as the second engineer entered the free fall boat (FFB) to carry out an inspection.

The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board (DMAIB) said the boat was rolling heavily due to waves and swell. It found the crewman “probably lost his balance and reached out for something to hold on to, in the process unintentionally releasing the FFB.” As a consequence of the accident, the second engineer suffered from loss of memory to some degree and could not remember what caused the release.

The inspection revealed that both the security handle and the release handle had been pushed backward, causing the hook holding the life boat to disengage.

A test revealed that it was possible to move both handles simultaneously from the upright position to the position releasing the FFB, which should be impossible.

Investigators were unable to establish the cause of the malfunction.

Nordic has since ensured that all its boats are fastened to lifting hooks before any crew enter.

Source: Tradewinds, Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board

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CRUISE SHIPPING: One dead, several ill on board Holland America ship

A US tourist died aboard a cruise liner that docked in the port of Rio de Janeiro today after 79 people aboard became sickened by a mystery illness.

The woman died aboard the MS Veendam, a luxury vessel owned by the US cruise company Holland America Line. The ship sailed from Valparaiso, Chile and docked in Rio with 1800 people on board.

Police said they were awaiting a report from forensic doctors about the woman’s death and they had no word on her identity. But government news agency Agencia Brasil reported that there was no indication her death was related to the health scare.

Federal police, who are investigating the case, said they had been told by the Veendam’s doctor that the woman likely died of natural causes, Agencia Brasil said.

Ronaldo Azaro, tourism secretary for the state of Rio de Janeiro, said Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) had been informed that there was a health issue aboard the ship when the vessel left Valparaiso and later stopped over in Uruguay.

Mr Azaro said at least 72 passengers and seven crew members were affected by an unspecified ailment on the journey from Chile.

Anvisa officials who boarded the ship when it docked in Rio today found only two people still showed symptoms of intestinal discomfort, Mr Azaro said.

He said there was no risk the Rio population could become ill.

Local newspapers reported that during the journey, ship authorities issued a red alert, ordering the closure of the swimming pool and the library and calling on passengers to wash their hands every two hours.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/us-tourist-dies-on-cruise-ship-passengers-reported-ill/story-e6frfku0-1226203187344#ixzz1eTKbEyoZ

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Al-Jazeera: “Maritime business practice threatens accountability”

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Study: Oil spill cleanup workers suffered chromosome damage, respiratory issues

Spanish fishermen who took part in a clean-up operation after the Prestige oil tanker spill in 2002 have shown symptoms of chromosomal damage and respiratory problems, a study released Tuesday said.

The study, conducted by Spanish researchers between September 2004 and February 2005 on 501 fishermen who helped clean up Europe’s worst oil spill, was published in the American review Annals of Internal Medicine.

On November 19, 2002 Liberian-flagged oil tanker the Prestige broke up and sank off Galicia in northwestern Spain, a region famed for its pristine coastline and ecological diversity.

The ship spewed 64,000 tonnes of thick, heavy fuel oil into the waters, polluting thousands of kilometres (miles) along the Atlantic coast of France, Spain and Portugal.

The Spanish study said “those who participated in the clean-up had a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms, higher levels of markers suggestive of airway injury in exhaled breath condensate, and chromosomal alterations in lymphocytes compared with those who did not participate in clean-up activities.”

It said “chromosomal damage in circulating lymphocytes is an early marker of genotoxicity associated with increased risk for cancer.”

It concluded that “participation in clean-up of a major oil spill seemed to have adverse health effects.”

But it warned that “the study does not prove that oil exposure caused the abnormalities.”

And it said “the findings cannot be extrapolated to spills of other types of oil” and “therefore cannot predict what effects individuals exposed to other oil spills, such as that in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, might experience.”

But the researchers urged that “the authorities responsible for organizing (oil) clean-up operations take appropriate measures to guarantee the health protection of those involved in the clean-up activities and establish registries to systematically assess possible adverse health outcomes in exposed workers over time.”

Source: Agence France-Presse

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