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Cruise Ship Crewmember Death

Aboard the Australian operated Oceanic Discoverer, a 34-year-old seaman was killed when he was trapped in a watertight door in 2009.

According to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the crew of the cruise ship had been conducting an emergency fire drill included closing and testing hydraulic watertight doors. The master closed the doors using a remote device.  Just a few minutes later, the chief engineer opened the doors to the engine room. He became trapped in the closing doors, and remained there for a full 8 minutes.

Crewmembers managed to free him, and he was given emergency resuscitation, but he did not regain consciousness.  He died in hospital from his injuries.

According to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the chief engineer attempted to pass through the door before it completely opened, when due to unexplained reasons, the door began to close on him. The Transport Accident Investigation Commission found that the watertight door did not meet the minimum safety requirements set by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. The report further mentions that the safety management systems on board did not establish strong standards for door maintenance in line with marine engineering standards.