A SON saw his father killed in the hold of a ship as he helped unload cargo at a Merseyside dock.
Foreman Jeffrey Swan, 53, from Ellesmere Port was crushed between a crane and the hold of a cargo ship at Seaforth Docks.
His son, who also works at the dock, was working on the quayside next to the ship when the accident happened shortly before 6.30pm on Saturday evening.
Jeffrey Swan was working 200 feet inside the hold of Jega, a Canadian registered cargo ship which regularly visits the Port of Liverpool.
It is believed he was directing a crane that was unloading forestry material through the ship’s hatch.
Mr Swan, who was one of the most experienced stevedores on the dock, was an agency worker for docking company Stanton Grove.
A spokesman for the Port Police said: “The police can confirm that a dock worker met his death whilst in the process of unloading a vessel. The police are conducting an investigation on behalf of the coroner.”
Two ambulances had attended the scene after a call at 6.21pm but they did not attempt to move Mr Swan.
Stanton Grove managing director Alan Taylor said: “We fully believe that we had no part to play in this accident.
“I am not yet in a position to fully comment as we have not yet conducted all the witness interviews.”
A spokesman from Merseyside Docks and Harbour Board safety department said: “An officer from our department attended the scene on Saturday night.
” It was a very unfortunate accident.
A full investigation is being held between the private company and the Health and Safety Executive.”
Colin Carr, industrial organiser for the Transport and General Workers union, said: “This is only the second death at Liverpool in five years and that does not mirror the national picture, where there are larger numbers of fatal accidents.
“We are, however, concerned that this happened inside the hold of the ship because traditionally this is the most dangerous area of the ship.
“Forestry products often have to be manoeuvred from smaller areas of the hold to under the ship’s oblong hatch so the cranes can reach them.
“As a foreman I imagine he would have entered the hold to sort out a problem or answer a query.”
Last year a truck driver was killed in a warehouse shed near Langton Dock in the Bootle dock complex.