Posted on November 13, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
Three crewmen died while aboard the Panama-flagged merchant vessel, Apollo Kita, after losing consciousness due to oxygen deprivation in the ship’s cargo hold.
The ship was travelling with a cargo of timber from Kalimantan, Malaysia to Hannan, Japan when the incident occurred, on November 9th.
The Kita was off the coast of Ishigakijima and was headed to Hannan when the crew discovered the unconscious sailors.
The crewmen were rushed to a hospital on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, however, all three were declared dead on arrival.
Local authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the accident, but initial findings suggest that the lack of oxygen in the cargo hold was the primary cause for their deaths.
The three seafarers were all of Philippine nationality and ranged in age from 26 to 59 years old.
Fatalities involving confined space entry are not unheard of in the shipping industry. The increased risk associated with entering an enclosed space filled with oxygen-depleting organic cargo is severely underestimated.
We urge every seafarer that operates under such conditions to make sure and take all the necessary precautions before engaging in an activity involving a low-oxygen environment.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic