Newcastle stevedore dies loading ship at Carrington

A Newcastle stevedore was crushed and killed when a 20-tonne pallet of aluminium being loaded on to a ship at Carrington fell on him.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) today named the worker as Greg Fitzgibbon, a 56-year-old wharfie with Newcastle Stevedores.

He was killed while working on board the Chinese-registered bulk carrier Weaver Arrow, which was docked at the Eastern Basin Distribution Centre.

Police said the incident happened about 9.30pm yesterday.

As a crane was loading the ship with a cargo of aluminium ingots, a 20-tonne pallet unexpectedly shifted and crushed Mr Fitzgibbon.

Paramedics could not revive him.

Police and WorkCover investigators were at the site today and were preparing reports for the coroner.

The union expressed its condolences.

Assistant national secretary Warren Smith said Mr Fitzgibbon is survived by his wife and two daughters.

“The MUA expresses condolences and sympathy to Mr Fitzgibbon’s family; any workplace death is one too many,” Mr Smith said.

“The MUA will continue to work to ensure Mr Fitzgibbon’s family is looked after and that counsellors are provided to the workforce.

“The Newcastle branch and national office of the MUA are in contact with the workforce and the company to work through any issues.”

The union said it was pushing for the industry to engage in developing a National Stevedoring Code Of Practice.

Union Newcastle branch secretary Glen Williams said Mr Fitzgibbon had been a member of the MUA since 1986.

“It is with great sadness that I have informed MUA members of another death of one of own,” Mr Williams said.

The bulk carrier Weaver Arrow at Carrington today. Picture: Anita Jones

The bulk carrier Weaver Arrow at Carrington today. Picture: Anita Jones