The accident took place in an open ocean anchorage area (blue water) off the coast of Colombia, about 5 miles offshore. At this location, bulk carrier vessels are moored to buoys and floating cranes are used to transfer coal from barges to the oceangoing bulk carriers.
The task of transferring personnel to and from offshore facilities to crew boats or offshore supply boats, as well as transferring personnel between boats has been accomplished for many years utilizing personnel transfer nets and personnel transfer baskets. Despite of the continuous efforts to improve he designs and operating procedures to eliminate identifiable hazards, accidents such as the ones described below are not uncommon.
Similar to the evolutionary process for living organisms, marine navigation systems are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated. Both by design and function, shipboard and shore-based navigation systems are no longer individual equipment components operating independently. Instead, the trend is toward integration, data fusion and synergy. One example of this are new Performance Standards being considered by IMO to achieve a "harmonized" presentation of all navigation-related information on the display of an integrated navigation system (INS).
Because the exposure to the marine and offshore environments, slips and falls are a significant source of personal injuries on floating vessels and offshore equipment, probably the rate of personal injuries due to slip and falls in a marine environment is substantially greater than most industry groups.
Low transverse stability was reported on this vessel prior to the accident, but no action was taken to investigate the cause of the low stability.
TYPICAL CASE IN WHICH LACK OF ATTENTION TO SMALL DEFICIENCIES RESULTED IN A MAJOR DISASTER:
After inspecting more than 100 marine stairways, in which accidents occurred, we found several deficiencies in the steps and handrails of stairs that are consistently repeated.
This accident happened in a large compartment of an Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV), which, because of lack of appropriate ventilation and toxic atmosphere it should have been treated as a confined space.
The majority of accidents involve personal injuries and/or fatalities, although the strong and continuous improvement in the field of accident prevention is resulting in a constant reduction of the number of marine related fatalities.
The M/V Salvador Allende capsized and sunk on or about December 9, 1994, in the Atlantic Ocean, with the loss of almost the entire crew. Only two (2) members of the crew survived, the third engineer, Mr. Alexander Tarenov, and the second mate, Mr. Ivan Skiba.