Container Ship Accident Kills Crew Member in LA Port

The body of a 39-year-old Filipino seaman was discovered on June 19 aboard a container ship at the Port of Los Angeles, according to local and Filipino media reports.

According to news reports, investigators from the Los Angeles Port Police and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) state in their preliminary report that the unidentified crew member died in a work-related accident aboard the Cap Posada.

The crew member died of blunt trauma to the head, per L.A. Port spokesman Phillip Sanfield.  The accident was said to be caused by a broken cable that was exposed while containers were being transferred on and off the Cap Posada.

Per the initial investigation, the fatal accident occurred between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m. The body was discovered at 10:45 p.m. The L.A. County Coroner’s office, Port Police, and officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were immediately notified. The Philippine consulate coordinated notification of the dead crew member’s family with the agencies.

The Cap Posada accident is the latest in a series of fatal industrial accidents that have occurred at the Port of Los Angeles in recent years.

In July of 2013, a Los Angeles port worker died underwater after a trailer fell on him as he worked near Berth 27. The dock worker was trapped in 60-ft. deep water under the trailer, which was pulling cargo at the time of the accident.

In yet another fatal accident, in January 2012, a longshoreman was fatally injured when a container fell from a crane as it was being offloaded from a vessel docked at the port’s Pier J. According to authorities, investigators from OSHA began looking for safety violations shortly after the incident happened.

The Cap Posada accident and other incidents at the Port of Los Angeles reflect how dangerous maritime jobs are, even those that seem routine. Cargo containers are big and bulky; empty 20-foot containers can weigh as much as two-and-a-half tons.

In addition, the machinery used to move cargo containers and other bulky items on and off vessels can be dangerous as well. Improperly maintained cranes, winches, and heavy road vehicles such as trailers break down and can cause fatal accidents. Other causes of machinery-related accidents include poor training procedures, lack of safety equipment, and overexertion.

For additional information and resources on maritime accidents and injuries, we invite you to fill out our form today to receive a complimentary Maritime Injury Guide. Each guide is filled with invaluable details regarding accidents, injuries, and what your legal rights and options are if you’ve been injured while on the job.