Case 6 Equipment

Case 6 Equipment

A multi-purpose container carrier (ro/ro and cellular) was loading containers to the ro/ro deck over a stern three-quarter ramp. A container lifter, insured by the Club as ship's equipment, was returning to the shore to collect another container from the terminal when the driver realized that the brakes were no longer working. As the lifter gathered speed down the slope, the driver prudently jumped off. The lifter broke through the safety chains rigged along the side of the ramp and plunged into the water.

The member called the local police underwater search team and they sent a unit to see if they could find the lifter. (The team likes to have such requests as they help with training.) The divers soon located the lifter but also reported that it was lying almost on top of an unexploded bomb. It is thought that the bomb, which had been dropped on the port during the second world war, had possibly been uncovered by recent dredging on the berth. The ship's crew, the dock workers and everybody else in the immediate area were ordered to a place of safety while the army's explosive ordnance removal team was brought in.

The container lifter was successfully returned to the quay. The bomb was then removed from the water and taken to an army range where it was detonated safely. After its immersion in salt water the lifter required considerable repairs, the costs of which were met by the Club. The driver escaped with minor cuts and bruises.