Second Seafarer Falls to His Death While Trying to Read Draft Marks

Officer fall to his death reading draft marking
Officer fell from a Turkish managed vessel operated by Ince Shipping (File photo of Ince bulker)

Published Feb 7, 2022 2:12 PM by The Maritime Executive

For the second time in a week, a Turkish seafarer has fallen to his death while attempting to attempt to determine his vessel’s draft after loading. Reports in the Russian and Turkish media indicate that the officer fell overboard and died of hypothermia during a storm at the port of Taman on the north coast of the Black Sea.

The 57373 dwt bulker Ince Ege, registered in Singapore for owners Ege Shipping, had reportedly arrived at the port late last week to load its cargo. After the loading operation was completed, second mate Yucel Ulaskin, a Turkish citizen age 36, was attempting to read the vessel’s draft markings. He along with a sailor was trying to carry out the task during a reported storm at the port.

Ulaskin descended a pilot’s ladder to read the markings and around 2:30 am local time apparently slipped and fell from the ladder into the water. The sailor that was with him sounded the alarm and tossed a life ring overboard. One sailor donned a lifejacket and went down the ladder and into the water to search for his colleague. However, at the time waves were running at more than six feet and the winds were between 17 and 20 knots. Reportedly they determined that it was not possible to lower a rescue boat but radioed the search and rescue coordination center AAKKA and MRCC Novorossik. The rescue authorities dispatched a tug to search the area.

The body of the officer was located after about 45 minutes and brought aboard the tugboat. Medical attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. Turkish company Ince Denizcilik, which manages the bulker, issued a statement expressing their condolences to the family.

The circumstances leading up to the accident were unclear, versus the Turkish sailor who died last week in China. In that instance, the first officer of the Mathilde Oldendorff was denied access to the dock due to COVID restrictions. After that accident, the Turkish Maritime Federation (Türkiye Denizcilik Federasyonu) said it was the latest example of the limitations being placed on seafarers while calling for action to stop the rules preventing seafarers from coming ashore.