Ship ran aground after captain's trouser hitch

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The Independent Online

When a cargo ship veered wildly off course and ran aground off the coast of Cornwall in March, it was down to its chief officer to explain how the mishap had occurred.

When a cargo ship veered wildly off course and ran aground off the coast of Cornwall in March, it was down to its chief officer to explain how the mishap had occurred.

It emerged that during his night watch duties he had caught his trousers on a lever, fallen down, banged his head and lost consciousness. The officer had switched off the safety alarm, and the rest of the crew were asleep and oblivious to his accident.

As a result, the RMS Mulheim slammed into rocks near Sennen, west Cornwall. The six-strong Polish crew were airlifted to safety, but little could be done to salvage the 1,740-ton vessel.

More than half of its 2,200-ton cargo of shredded car plastic was lost and the badly damaged ship remains impaled on rocks.

The mishap came to light in a report published yesterday by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Its investigation into the accident continues.

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