Seafarer Dies in Fall Aboard Rockdumping Vessel

The Simon Stevin (file image courtesy Jan De Nul)

By The Maritime Executive 01-30-2019 09:12:00

Officials in Bruges, Belgium are investigating the death of a Dutch seafarer aboard the specialized fallpipe vessel Simon Stevin.

On Monday night, the Stevin was at the port of Zeebrugge, and the crew was moving steel pipes. The victim was operating a crane using a remote control unit, and he fell 12 meters into a hold after stepping backwards. He was evacuated to a hospital, but did not survive. 

The victim appears to have been in an unauthorized location at the time of the accident, according to labor minister Filiep De Ketelaere. The Ghent Labor Auditor, West Flanders Department has started a criminal investigation into the causes of the accident. 

A local amateur soccer club, the Bruse Boys, said that the victim was a member of their community and would be missed. The club identified him as Dennis Feijtel, 24. 

The Simon Stevin is a deepwater fallpipe rockdumping vessel, the largest ship of her kind and the first built specifically for her specialized task. She is designed to deposit rocks of up to 15 inches in size on the seabed at depths of up to 2,000 meters, and a long fallpipe suspended from her hull provides accurate positioning. These carefully placed rockpiles provide protection for subsea pipelines, offshore platform foundations and other infrastructure.