Preparations were underway to load anchor chain into the moon pool locker, and the hatch cover had been temporarily removed prior to the installation of the chain guide (chute). The hatch had an opening of 155×85 cm and the locker was approximately 10 metres deep.
While attending to a related task on deck, a crew member stepped back and fell backwards into the open moon pool hatchway. As he fell he was able to turn slightly to his right and grab the edge of the hatch opening with both hands. He then managed to get his right elbow over the edge of the hatchway and, shouting, attracted the attention of others. Crew members subsequently helped him to safety.
- Once opened, deck hatches and accessways should always be immediately cordoned off and indicated as a danger.
- Always do a risk assessment, even if it is just a mental check of dangers, prior to and during a task. Think of ‘what could happen’.