A mid-morning freak accident on Tuesday on board a vessel docked at the St. George’s Port has claimed the life of a stevedore.
The stevedore, David Wayne Roberts, alias “Baggies” was at the time engaged in offloading a shipment of cement from the Motor Vessel Sabina A which came into Port St. George since August 9 when the accident took place.
A statement issued by the Grenada Ports Authority says Roberts who is a resident of Fontenoy, St. George’s was a member of the team responsible for discharging the cargo off the ship. At the time of the accident he was stationed in the hatch of the boat.
According to the statement, Minister with the responsibility for the Grenada Ports Authority (GPA) Nazim Burke, on the advice of the Director of Maritime Affairs, has appointed Ian Noel, a US Coast Guard Certified Marine Causality Investigator to determine the cause of the incident.
Officers of the Royal Grenada Police Force are also conducting an investigation into the incident.
Although information of the incident is scanty, THE NEW TODAY Newspaper learnt that a two-ton beam aboard the vessel which is a Vincentian registered boat collapsed while the cement was being pulled out by a crane.
A source told this newspaper the ball of the crane bounced the overhead beam on the hatch causing it to dislodge.
The beam fell on to the head of the 44-year old Roberts who it is estimated was about 25 feet below.
The stevedore fell on his back on top of bags of cement, and was partly covered in cement dust from the head to the feet.
The body was examined by the District Medical Officer, Dr. Susan Lambert who pronounced him dead at around 11:15 a,m.
This is reportedly the first waterfront casualty at Port St. George since 1958.
Family members view the incident as being carelessness, but are appreciative of the investigation that is launched by the GPA.
However, they are calling for the investigation to be thorough.
One family member would like to see that health and safety at the port now takes top priority on conclusion of the investigation.
The family member believes proper system needs to be put in place to cover the other workers to avoid another tragedy.
Roberts has been employed with the Grenada Ports Authority and a member of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Union for over ten years.