Chemical Residue Kills Young Intern in Turkish Ship

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A 19 year old University freshman Mustafa Koç was found dead in ship during internship according to a report published in Ahval News. 

About the Incident 

Piri Reis University Department of Maritime Transportation and Management Engineering freshman Mustafa Koç lost his life during his internship at the vessel GANNET S.

The vessel was operated by Chemfleet Ship Management and the incident occurred after a series of negligent actions by the company. 

Ill treatment by the crew

After leaving Istanbul for India on the GANNET S, Mustafa Koç was forced to work 20-hour shifts and clean tanks with chemical residue.

Koç had to stay in a hotel arranged by the company under unhygienic conditions when the vessel was unable to dock due to a storm. 

The 19 year old engineering freshman stayed in the hotel for 11 days, and after he was able to board the vessel again headed out to Djibouti on June 22.

Cause of death

Koç was sleeping at the ship’s infirmary as the guards were staying in his cabin. The infirmary had no air conditioning and temperatures inside reached 45° C.

Koç was forced to clean a tank with chemical residue by the ship’s chief officer, which interns are not allowed to do. He was asked to clean tank of 20m depth having an aperture of 1m, and temperatures as high as 50° C inside. 

In the morning of July 11, he was found dead in the room he was sleeping in. The crew reported the incident when they went to check on him as he didn’t show up for his shift in the Djibouti Port at 4 a.m.

Autopsy results

The autopsy conducted in Djibouti showed severe lung infection as the cause of death. Mustafa Koç had gone through a full physical examination before starting his internship, and had all his shots complete. He had no previous health issues.

Public awareness by the family

Mustafa Koç’s brother İsmail Koç posted tweeted that severe negligence caused his brother’s death. 

He said Mustafa’s working conditions didn’t comply with MLC standards, but such treatment was fairly common in Turkish maritime companies. The family is calling for public awareness so such incidents don’t happen again.

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Source: Ahval News

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