A Filipino crew member of a Capesize bulk carrier fell into water while trying to assist their pilot who was boarding the bulk carrier in rough weather, off Gijon, Spain, on the night of April 1st. A massive search and rescue (SAR) was launched, deploying SAR boats and helicopter, but despite their best efforts he wasn’t found.
His body was found and recovered in the morning April 2nd, he had sadly drowned despite the fact he was wearing a life jacket. The berthing of HELLASSHIP was cancelled and she was berthed at around noon on Apr 2nd.
This tragic event underlines the need for everyone involved in pilot transfer to be comprehensively trained. Pilot transfer can be dangerous for ALL involved not just the pilot. Never underestimate the dangers involved and protect against complacency. Thousands of pilot embarkations and hoardings happen each and everyday but each one has the same potential risk to pilot and crew.