A 37-year-old Filipino engine cleaner died on the Greek island of Syros this week in unclear circumstances.
The incident took place on the 52,000-dwt Equinox Seas (built 2003), a Greek-managed vessel docked at an ONEX ship repair yard on the Aegean island of Syros.
Labour union officials identified the victim as Emanuel Tayong, who fell from a height of 12 metres while working on the ship.
Greek coastguards confirmed the incident without elaborating on the causes of the fall and pointed to an investigation by their Syros branch.
According to the coastguard statement, Tayong was taken to Syros hospital, where he died during an operation to save his life.
The incident occurred on 17 April, which was Greek Orthodox Easter Monday.
Managers at Equinox Maritime, the Greek company controlling the Cayman Islands-flag vessel, did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
According to the leftist Pemen-Stefenson engineers’ union, work on the ship and the shipyard continued uninterrupted, despite the accident.
Raising safety concerns, Pemen-Stefenson and Greece’s main opposition Syriza party urged authorities to investigate thoroughly.
After sending a team to the island, Pemen-Stefenson said local labour inspection offices there are short-staffed and shipyard managers professed incompetence to investigate since the ship is under a foreign flag and seafarers on it are not Greek.
Previously known just as Neorion, the Syros shipyard has been attracting clients in recent years after a successful turnaround by ONEX Technologies, a versatile group that acquired it.
In a statement released on 24 April, shipyard managers expressed their grief over the death of the seafarer while at the same time dismissing any responsibility for it.
The “tragic, lethal incident... [took place] outside and beyond the jurisdiction, operation and the institutional texts governing our shipyard,” they said.