Docker dies after 30ft fall

SCENE OF TRAGEDY: The Bright Ocean, which is docked at Irvine's Quay
SCENE OF TRAGEDY: The Bright Ocean, which is docked at Irvine's Quay

A DOCK worker was killed after falling 30ft into the hold of a ship.

The 59-year-old man was stood supervising the loading of large steel pipes into the hold of the Bright Ocean vessel at Irvine’s Quay, Ferry Road, Hartlepool, when he fell down a hatch.

He hit the steel floor of the ship’s hold which left him with suspected head, spine and back injuries.

The vessel’s crew rang the emergency services and paramedics, the Great North Air Ambulance, police and three fire engines from Stranton Fire Station rushed to the worker’s aid at 7.30pm yesterday.

After being given the go-ahead from doctors, another worker used a dock crane to winch the stricken man to the shore where he was then placed into the air ambulance and flown to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

He died shortly after getting to the hospital, say police.

Watch manager Jason Wood, from Stranton Fire Station, who was at the scene of the incident, said: “We were called to the dock where a man had fallen on a ship. He’d been working loading pipes into the ship’s hold when he fell into the hold.

“The man had a full crew around him at the time so the incident was reported straight away.

“We got there around the same time as the air ambulance helicopter and doctors and we basically helped with manpower and lighting while the doctors did their medical intervention.

“He fell around 30ft and he suffered suspected spinal, back and head injuries. He was unconscious at the time.”

He added: “One of the guy’s there used one of the cranes on the port to get him out of the hold and he was then placed into the air ambulance by about 8.40pm and flown to hospital.”

Today a spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “We were called to what appears to have been an industrial accident at Hartlepool Marina.

“District officers attended along with harbour police, ambulance and the fire service.

“The man was airlifted to hospital where unfortunately he later died.

“Inquiries are ongoing today, but it is likely that the investigation will be handed to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

“Scenes of crime officers have attended to help further the investigation by the HSE.”