Friday, February 20, 2009

Ship Accident Investigated As Seaman Fights For His Life

Two separate investigations have been launched into an accident on a cruise ship at the Port of Napier yesterday which has left a seaman fighting for his life. The 34-year-old Australian man, of Sri Lankan descent, was in a critical condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital this morning after he was crushed between a fire door and a bulkhead during a safety drill on board the Oceanic Discoverer. Sergeant Wendy Wright, of Napier police, said the man was trapped for five minutes before being freed by crew and resuscitated. He has had surgery for crush injuries to his chest, abdomen and pelvis.
Oceanic Discoverer
The Oceanic Discoverer, which arrived in Napier yesterday, did not leave for the Marlborough Sounds last night as scheduled. It is a small cruise ship with 70 to 80 passengers, said Ken Lowe, a spokesman for agents ISS McKay. Passengers were ashore when the accident happened. "The ship is being held in port while the investigations take place and there is also a manning issue now," Mr Lowe told Hawke's Bay Today newspaper. Maritime New Zealand and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission have both launched investigations. TAIC chief investigator Tim Burfoot said it would be months before a report was completed.

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