A crew member of a Korean-flagged bulk carrier is believed to had fallen overboard while the ship was en route to Newcastle from Papua New Guinea and is presumed to be dead.
The incident occurred on May 14th while the K Pride was on its way to pick up a coal cargo at the Australian port, some 500km north of Madang, writes the Australian Associated Press (AAP) citing a coordinator at the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
“The captain turned the ship around to look for the 54-year-old man but there was no sign of him and (he) is presumed lost and dead,” ITF’s Dean Summers said.
As the incident took place in international waters concerns were raised on whether it would be investigated.
According to Summers, the death of the Korean national should be investigated as occurrences of people falling overboard from coal ships have become ever more frequent.
Often, the cause of deaths is attributed to suicides, which Summers said could be an excuse for companies to avoid paying death benefits.
The 149,394 DWT bulker is owned by South Korea’s SK Shipping and was built in 1992.
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