A worker died on a sub-contracted jack-up accommodation barge Seafox Deema when one of the vessel’s cranes collapsed into the water off the Qatari coast, said officials at Italy’s Saipem and Dutch contractor Seafox.

“While the detailed investigation is still ongoing, from a preliminary analysis the causes of this accident are to be sought in the structural failure of the pedestal crane,” said a Saipem company spokesman in an Upstream report.

The jack-up barge was working for Qatargas’ Barzan pipeline replacement project, when the crane boom collapsed, killing the operator.

“Yes, unfortunately the crane operator, who was a direct employee of Seafox Deema, died as he was still in the crane cabin,” a Saipem spokesperson said in the report.

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Seafox was the operator of the jack-up vessel that was working on a sub-contract from Saipem, the main engineering, procurement, construction and installation contractor for Qatargas’ Barzan pipeline replacement project.

Saipem said the accident occurred when the subcontractor (Seafox) “with control and responsibility for the jack up and the crane operations, was shifting some cargoes on a supply vessel.”

“As the investigation is still ongoing, at this stage we cannot provide further details,” the Italian contractor said.

Seafox later also confirmed the incident in a brief statement:

“It is with great sadness that we report an unfortunate incident onboard our unit Seafox Deema on the 16 March 2020 at WHP-2, Barzan Field, in offshore Qatar,” the statement read.

“The accident, which involved the starboard crane capsizing overboard, resulted in the loss of life of our crane operator.

“No other persons were injured in the crane accident.

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the victim’s family. Seafox are providing all possible support to the family of the deceased, as we stand by our employees and their families.

“Investigations are under way in co-ordination with the Qatari authorities, our client and the field operator.

“We have provided all the evidence gathered in relation to this incident to the relevant authorities involved, to assist them in conducting their full, detailed investigation, including the necessary certifications of the crane and past inspections by third parties and class.”

No damage has been reported on the topsides and subsea assets involving the Barzan project, he added.

Seafox Deema is a three-legged, self-elevating jack-up unit for accommodation and offshore support services.

It was converted to a self-elevating jack-up in 1990 by Lamprell in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and was subsequently upgraded there in 1998.

The vessel has a maximum person-on-board capacity of 470 and can operate in water depths up to 190 feet (58 metres), according to the company website.

Seafox Deema has three cranes, with a maximum lift of 200 metric tonnes.

The Barzan offshore facilities are located 80 kilometers north-east of Qatar’s Ras Laffan industrial city.

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