Fatal superyacht incident caused by incorrect working practices

An investigation has found that incorrect working practices on board 81-metre (165-foot) yacht Kibo (now named Grace) caused fatal injuries to a crewmember. 

Jacob Nicol was working on the Abeking & Rasmussen yacht in Mallorca on 3rd  May, 2015 when he fell into the water and struck his head on a 5.5kg fender hook causing him to sustain a skull fracture.

A diver on board the yacht, who found him “face down on the seabed”, recovered him from the water but by that time Nicol had spent more than 13 minutes underwater. The consequent starvation of oxygen left him brain damaged and severely disabled.

As a result of a chest infection caused by his immobility, Nicol died just over two years later on 7th June, 2017.

Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands has undertaken an investigation into the incident, ultimately ruling that this incident occurred because the yacht’s safety procedures were not followed. 

This included the fact that Nicol was not wearing a lifejacket or attached to a fixed point of the yacht’s structure while he worked over the side, a requirement specified in the yacht’s Standard Operating Procedures and Technical Manual.

The incident was also not captured by any of the yacht’s 14 CCTV cameras as he was working outside the motion detection zone.

The investigation concluded that the most likely cause of the incident was he lost his footing and fell into the water while he tried to shift the fender hook.

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Source: Boat International


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