Friday, 16 January 2015 - 17:41
Poor railing blamed in overboard deaths
Two Filipino crew members that went overboard from Dutch freight ship Marietje Andrea may have fallen over a railing that lacked proper protection, concludes the Dutch Safety Board on a report released today. The two men, Harlan C. Layosa, 27, and Gleemar Sapanta, 26, went missing on December 5, 2013, in the Baltic Sea near the coast of Trelleborg, Sweden. Despite a lengthy search effort, their bodies were not found. “The area where the two men fell in was very well covered,” Swedish Maritime Administration representative Daniel Lindblad said at the time the recovery operation was cancelled. The men were on their way to the hatches on the fore of the ship when they fell in to the water, according to the Dutch Safety Board. No crew members saw the incident, but they reported hearing cries for help. A lifebuoy was thrown for them to mark the place of the men and many rescue operations were conducted but the ship failed to do a sharp turn and to perform the man-overboard-procedure, says the report. With the water temperature reportedly eight degrees celsius, and wind speeds up to 72 km/h, the initial rescue attempts were challenging. The buoy was at the heart of a search that covered 16 square nautical mile search (55 square km). The incident has led to additional instruction for the crew to always wear a lifejacket while working on the deck.