Worker dies at port of Lyttelton on ship loading coal, Maritime New Zealand investigating

The body of a dockworker who died this morning in Lyttelton has been removed by emergency services.

The person died while coal was being loaded onto a ship at Lyttelton this morning.

The death is the second in New Zealand ports in the past week.

The person killed this morning worked for the Lyttelton Port Company, the company’s acting chief executive confirmed to the NZ Herald.

“Unfortunately one LPC staff member died while the ship was loaded with coal for export,” said Kirstie Gardener.

“At this time, we cannot confirm any further details of the incident. I wish to express my deep sadness and condolences to both the family of our team member and the rest of the LPC team.

“Our focus at this time is to support our staff and the family of our LPC team member during this tragic time.”

Andrew Norris of Fire and Emergency New Zealand said a crew from Lyttelton had been called back to pull the body from the ship to the dock this afternoon.

Maritime New Zealand, which offered its “sincere condolences” to the victim, is investigating the accident.

Maritime New Zealand’s senior communications adviser, Vince Cholewa, said investigators would conduct interviews, examine the scene, examine documents and gather the necessary evidence.

‘Maritime New Zealand will assess all information gathered and then make a decision on what further action, if any, to take.

Calling the death a “tragedy”, Council of Trade Unions chairman Richard Wagstaff said there was an “urgent need” to investigate port security.

“The Maritime Union of New Zealand, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union and the Merchant Services Guild of New Zealand have requested a port security survey, from which national standards would be developed. New Zealand trade unions wholeheartedly endorse these necessary measures.”

Wagstaff said the death occurred just three days before Workers Memorial Day.

“Every worker deserves to know that when they go to work in the morning, they will get home safely at the end of the day. Unfortunately, this is currently not the case in this industry, and urgent action is needed” , did he declare. .

Eight people, including a number wearing high-visibility vests, have arrived at the ship docked since 11 a.m. Three have since boarded. A small number of Lyttelton residents and port employees visited a gazebo overlooking the scene.

Andrew Norris of the fire service said crews were on board a coal transport vessel called ETG Aquarius in Lyttelton this morning where one person was injured.

Norris said two fire apparatus from Lyttelton, one from the town center and one from Woolston attended the incident.

A St John’s spokesperson said an ambulance, manager and intensive care paramedic responded to the incident at around 9.12am.

“Police are assisting the ambulance with an incident at Cashin Quay, Lyttelton which was reported shortly before 9.30am,” a police spokesman said.

Atiroa Tuaiti, a resident of Otara, died shortly after 9am last Tuesday following a “fall from a height” while working on a Singaporean container ship moored in Auckland ports.

Tuaiti grew up in Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, but moved to South Auckland in her teens and attended Mt Roskill Grammar. It is understood that he had worked at the port for several years.

He welcomed his first son in October last year, and relatives told the Herald of their grief for his ‘broken-hearted’ partner Kura.