Seafarer Survives Four Days at Sea with Fractured Spine


…As P&O Cruises Captain Fined for Air Pollution***

A Filipino seafarer is recovering in hospital after fracturing his spine falling from a ladder on November 14.

Adriano Gicos, 55, was descending into the ship’s hold when he slipped and fell four meters, while voyaging from Singapore to Brazil. His colleagues had to use a crane to get him back to his cabin, where they administered basic first aid.

As a result of the fall, Gicos, a chief officer, suffered serious spinal injuries, which have required surgery to enable him to walk again. He is recovering in Meridional Hospital in the Brazilian city of Vitória, where he is being cared for by Ailton De Souza, a port chaplain from international maritime charity Sailors’ Society. De Souza said, “A few days ago Adriano could only move his fingers and he needed help eating.” Although currently unable to walk, he is receiving daily physiotherapy and his movement is slowly returning.

Gicos has been at sea for more than 20 years, and this is the first accident he’s had in his career.

De Souza said, “He said he was focused on what he was doing and couldn’t understand how it happened.”

Sailors’ Society’s CEO Stuart Rivers, said, “Seafaring is one of the most dangerous jobs going. Seafarers like Adriano risk their lives to deliver 90 percent of the goods we rely upon daily. When crises like this strike, our team is on hand to support seafarers and their families in need.”

In the meantime, the Criminal Court of Marseille fined the captain of the cruise ship Azura and its owner Carnival Corporation & plc EUR 100,000 (around USD 113,900) for polluting the air by using fuel with higher contents of sulphur than permitted.

During an inspection of the ship in the port of Marseille, in March this year, relevant authorities discovered that the vessel was burning bunker fuel containing 1.68 percent sulphur, therefore breaking the 1.5 percent limit.

This is the first time a French court sentenced the captain of a ship for such a breach, France Nature Environment, the French federation of associations for the protection of nature and the environment, who was the plaintiff in the case said.

The court allocated the federation, Surfrider Foundation and the League for the Protection of Birds EUR 5,000 respectively for damages,

French prosecutor Franck Lagier alleged that Carnival “wanted to save money at the expense of everyone’s lungs, in the context of major air pollution, caused partly by cruise ships.”

However, lawyers for Carnival reportedly argued that the strictest laws on pollution do not apply to the Azura as these are reserved for passenger ships using a regular route, according to AFP.

Carnival Corporation said it was disappointing by the verdict and that it plans to contest it.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News