During the mooring of the m/v Evening Star in the port of Busan, South Korea, ammonia was released during the repair of the refrigerator installation. The refrigerating engineerswho performed the work as part of the brigade got poisoned and was urgently hospitalized in the clinic.
It was not possible to save the seafarer. The dose of ammonia was fatal. The body of the seafarer who died on August 2, 2019 was delivered to Russia, all materials on the fact of his death were transferred to the Investigative Committee of the Sakhalin Region. In accordance with the current legislation an act on the results of the inspection was not drawn up within 15 days and the widow did not receive any documents giving her the right to receive insurance payments.
«No one explained to me under what circumstances my husband died. Ammonia was recorded in medical report and the fact that he was taken to the hospital with a temperature of 42 degrees and also bleeding from the oral cavity was recorded. Now the company Kuril Universal Complex LLC from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is trying to say that my husband’s death is related to the actions of the doctors at Busan Hospital. I can’t prove anything to anyone and no one asks for my husband’s medical history although ammonia was recorded in it. It turns out that I was paid only for the funeral and nothing more. I don’t know whether the investigation is ongoing and who is to blame for the death of my husband but three months have passed already» – said the wife of the deceased seafarer, Olga, in the Far East regional organization of the SUR where she applied for assistance.
Now she had the hope of receiving compensation for the death of her husband. Union representatives helped her to draw up the claim to the transport prosecutor and other supervisory authorities. «Today there are a lot of normative documents providing that if a seafarer dies in a voyage as a result of an injury or an emergency on board the vesselhis family is entitled to material compensation. And here there was a death on a vessel under Russian flag but there is not a word from the company or from the investigating authorities. The shipowner just calmed downhaving paid only the burial. Although according to the law an act of form N-1 should be drawn up within 15 days after the incident, the thorough investigation of the causes of death had to be carried out and then the widow with a small child would receive enough money to maintain the standard of living that they had before the death of her husband. As a rule the amount of compensation for death is stipulated by the labor contracts of seafarers or collective agreements but some shipowners as in this case are not in a hurry to pay it voluntarily. We are now providing the family of the deceased seafarer Leonid Volokhov with serious legal assistance in recovering compensation.«And we hope that we can help,» said Nikolai Sukhanov, chairman of the Far East regional organization of the SUR It is worth noting that Union inspectors often dealing with similar situations related to the payment of compensation to the families of deceased seafarers. If the vessel is covered by a collective agreement then resolving issues is easier. «However this year, for example, on board of 7 Russian ships inspected by inspectors none the SUR collective bargaining agreement which would clearly indicate the sum insured for the death of a crewmember was found. So the woman is still facing litigation but as statistics show, the won cases of recovering compensation for the death of a seafarers account for more than 90 percent.In addition to compensation in connection with the death of a seafarer it will be possible to demand additional amounts of redress of wrong from the shipowner in accordance with the law», – Sukhanov explains.
In turn seafarers should be familiar with the contents of the collective agreement when they are employed on a ship. If the vessel is not covered by the agreement you need to make sure that the specific amount of compensation is indicated in the individual labor contractas it can greatly facilitate and speed up the receipt of payments.