Agulhas seaman dies in 'unfortunate incident'

A seaman aboard the Antarctic supply vessel SA Agulhas died on Friday morning in an incident involving other crew members.

“Following a non-work related incident ... in the early hours of this morning, we regret to advise of the death of one of the crew members, 22-year-old Edward Robert Hulley,” the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the company operating the vessel said in a statement.

The government-owned Agulhas, under contract to Smit Amandla Marine, is en route to pick up scientists on Tristan da Cunha, where she is expected to dock later in the day.

Contacted for comment, company spokesperson Clare Gomes told the South African Press Association the crewman’s death was the result of “an unfortunate incident between off-duty crew members”.

Hulley was employed by the company.

At least one other crew member had been detained on board, she said, declining to comment further because the matter was being investigated by the South African Police Service.

Forty-one crewmen, including officers, a doctor, six helicopter crew and two South African Weather Service officials were on board at the time of the incident.

Although the vessel is due to dock at Tristan da Cunha, the matter falls outside the jurisdiction of the island’s authorities because the vessel is registered in South Africa.

The Agulhas is due back in Cape Town between the October 13 and 15, depending on the weather. - Sapa

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