An investigation into the death of a crewman has found that the yacht’s master had not completed a passage plan for the voyage before the fatal accident
An investigation into the death of a crewman has found that the yacht’s master had failed to complete a passage plan before leaving harbour and had not taken daylight savings time into account when assessing the tide.
The oversight meant that the risks associated with the voyage were not appropriately assessed or communicated to the crew.
The 42m charter yacht Calliope set off from Sydney in February last year for a cruise around the harbour when the vessel began to veer off course towards Glebe Island Bridge.
While trying to protect the boat, the assistant engineer leaned over the side of the yacht as he attempted to walk a fender between the yacht’s hull and any points of impact.
The man, reportedly from Queensland, got caught between the yacht and a bridge-mounted fender and was dragged overboard.
“He was distracted by what he was doing and did not notice that
Calliope was closing on one of the bridge mounted fenders which was
going to pass very close to where he was working,” said the report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
He was rescued from the water shortly after the accident but died as a result of his injuries.
The ATSB report, released on Monday, also found that the tide had been incorrectly calculated, making it harder to maintain control of the boat.
“Prior to departure, the master calculated tidal conditions for the intended transit through the bridge, but did not consider the impact of daylight savings time.
“This resulted in an erroneous belief that the ride was just beginning to flood when it was actually just finishing the ebb.”
As a result of the incident, Calliope’s management company has updated the ship’s safety management procedures to require the passage planning for all voyages.