A seaman dies after being struck on the head by a derrick heel block that he was removing for inspection. What action should the master take?

The master should: (1) obtain witness statements at time of the death or as soon as possible thereafter, and make these available to any Superintendent or Proper Officer who later boards in connection with a Section 271 Inquiry;Β 

(2) have the cause of death established and certified, if possible, by a doctor: (3) inform the owners/managers; (4) inform the deceased’s next-of-kin as soon as possible and in any case within 3 days – this will probably be done by owners, but it is the master’s legal responsibility; (5) inform the agent at the next port – he will probably have to inform various local officials, e. g. port health, customs and police; (6) inform the P&I club correspondent at the next port; (7) make entries in the Deaths section of the OLB; (8) have the safety officer investigate, report and make an entry in his accident log; (9) on receipt of the safety officer’s report, inform MAIB (by fax, telex, satcoms, etc. ), following up the initial report with a completed IRF form and narrative report, and inserting a copy of this in the OLB; (10) make a Return of Death on an RBD form (MCA Form MSF 4605 – formerly RBD/1) and send as soon as possible to a Marine Office Superintendent in the UK or a Proper Officer abroad (RSS Cardiff should be called if in doubt as to the procedure); (11) make appropriate discharge entries in the grey spaces of the List of Crew (ALC 1(a) or (b) as appropriate) and have them witnessed; (12) preserve the body, if possible, for landing ashore, but if impossible, perform a burial at sea in compliance with the Ship Captain’s Medical Guide, but only after advising the Proper Officer at the next port; (13) check the Safe Manning Document and ascertain whether a replacement is required – if so, contact the owners or agent at the next port of call; (14) if no Section 271 Inquiry is to be held at the next port where there is a Superintendent or Proper Officer, make an OLB entry to that effect; (15) deal with the deceased seaman’s property and wages as described below.


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Why is it important to send the MSF 4605 (formerly RBD/1) to the RSS as soon as possible?

In what circumstances could a seaman, from whose wages the master intended to make a deduction on account of his absence without leave, avoid the deduction?