The Maritime Union says the death of a foreign crew member aboard the MSC Resilient III in South Port in Bluff today is a sad and stark reminder of how dangerous the maritime industry is.
Emergency services were called to the port at around 9.15am this morning.
Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says details about the incident are sketchy so far.
He says his understanding is New Zealand shore based stevedores had finished work on the vessel when the incident occurred.
The container ship had its own cranes, but had been worked by onshore cranes operated by local stevedores.
He says initial reports from local workers suggest an incident had occurred when onboard cranes were being moved by crew.
Mr Harrison says the Maritime Union has ongoing concerns about the health and safety aboard overseas flagged ships working in New Zealand ports.
The Resilient III is a flag of convenience (FOC) vessel registered under the Liberian flag. FOC vessels are notorious for the issues around safety and seafarers’ rights.
Mr Harrison says the inquiry in port health and safety ordered earlier in 2022 by Transport Minister Michael Wood will need to result in clear and actionable methods to make ports safer for workers.