Cruise-ship crewman fatally crushed by hydraulic lift while painting


A crewmember on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship was crushed to death while working on the exterior of the vessel at its dock in New Orleans, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

The incident occurred at 0955 on Oct. 20, 2013, as the 953-foot Carnival Conquest was undergoing routine maintenance, according to Lt. Xiaobin Tuo of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. The victim, whose name has not been released, was painting the side of the ship when the hydraulic lift on which he was standing tilted and crushed him.

“While a crewmember from the Carnival Conquest was elevated in a cherry picker performing maintenance work on the side of the vessel, he became wedged between the cherry picker and a platform holding one of the ship’s lifeboats,” Carnival said in a prepared statement.

The Miami-based company said the ship’s medical team and local paramedics responded, but the crewmember could not be revived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 2,984-passenger Conquest is registered in Panama. Its home port at the time of the incident was New Orleans, but the ship now sails out of Miami.

Skies were fair with winds of 5 to 15 mph when the incident occurred, Tuo said. She declined to comment further about details of the case, saying it was still under investigation by the Coast Guard. A Carnival spokesman also declined to provide more information.

Although the incident occurred outside of the ship and while it was docked, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not have jurisdiction to investigate, spokeswoman Diana Petterson said.

“The deceased was a crewmember of the ship, which equates to a seaman per the Jones Act,” she said. “Per the law and (a memorandum of understanding) … the Coast Guard had jurisdiction.”

By Professional Mariner Staff