A commercial ship operator reports an engineer having his hand severed at the wrist during a routine inspection of the main engine units.
One of the tasks during this inspection is to take a picture inside the cylinder liner by holding the camera through the scavenge air ports. To get this done the engine needed to be turned to a favourable position for each cylinder.
A long story made short: The engineer was alone and he turned the engine to the correct position using the remote control. This was designed so that the button for turning the engine must be continuously depressed to get the engine to turn and once released it would stop. This safety feature was removed by a modification on board, enabling the Engineer to work without having to waste energy by pushing the button. On this occasion, he assumed the piston has stopped and placed the remote control on the deck plate. He then reached through the opening holding the camera, but at that point realised that the piston had not in fact stopped and his hand was trapped. The remote control was of course just out of reach and the young man had to suffer the undoubted trauma and agony of seeing his hand severed in slow motion, and could only then free himself by cutting the arm from his overalls.
He survived the experience and was fortunate indeed to have his hand recovered and reattached but will never regain full use of it. The manager suspects a similar modification may exist on other ships and has generously allowed me to distribute this, unattributed of course. These inspections are carried out hundreds of times every month by countless vessels.
At last, a sensible use of a selfie-stick.
(image unconnected with incident or operator)
Author: Capt Adrian McCourt, Chairman, Watkins Superyachts Ltd
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Source: Capt Adrian McCourt on Linkedin