Bahamas Marine Investigation Report: Fumigation poisoning fatality on M/V Jupiter on 17 May 2022


( On the morning of 17 May 2022, the Bahamas flagged bulk carrier, mv Jupiter, was at anchor outside Qinzhou, China, when an ordinary seafarer collapsed in a cargo hold containing soya beans. The alarm was raised and the chief officer who entered to help also collapsed. Both the chief officer and ordinary seafarer were recovered from the hold by a team wearing breathing apparatus. Both were transferred to a hospital ashore where the chief officer made a full recovery. The ordinary seafarer died as a result of exposure to lethal levels of phosphine gas.

Why it happened

The crew were carrying out a routine check on the condition of the cargo in the holds before discharge. Whilst the cargo had been fumigated at the load port, the holds were not considered to be dangerous as the vessel was in possession of a gas free certificate, issued by fumigant removal contractors, and the hatches had been open and ventilated for some time. This was re-enforced as entry into the other holds had occurred without incident the previous days. There was no effective hazard identification so work commenced as planned. As part of the pre-planning for discharge an opportunity was missed to retest the space prior to crew entering to inspect the cargo for wet spots.

What can we learn

Fumigated cargoes are incredibly dangerous. Cargo holds that contain fumigated cargo should not be entered. Lethal doses of fumigant may remain in pockets or trapped within the cargo. A gas free certificate does not guarantee your safety, therefore precautions should always be taken to mitigate the risk and likelihood of gas poisoning.

For more information, click below to download the full investigation report:



Source: BMA



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