The tanker Bordeira was conducting a crew change near the port’s anchorage area, and one of the three disembarking crewmembers fell into the water. According to local outlet ABC Andalucia, he was caught on the ladder.
The pilot boat for the port of Algeciras responded to the scene, and one of the boat’s crewmembers dove into the water to rescue the man. The victim was recovered alive and conscious, but he had signs of hypothermia.
The pilot boat delivered him to the pier in the district of Saladillo, where an ambulance picked him up for transport to the local hospital. He died after his arrival.
An investigation into the circumstances of the casualty is under way.
Pilot ladder accidents are a persistent problem for shipping: underway boardings rank alongside lifeboat drills as some of the most dangerous evolutions on board seagoing vessels. The cause of Tuesday’s casualty has not been determined, but improperly rigged ladders are a commonplace occurence in ports around the world.