Warning following young sea cadet’s death

Jonathan Martin
Jonathan Martin
Daniel Williams as King Charles I at Portsmouth Car Ferry Terminal, Gunwharf. Picture: Byron Melton

WATCH: Why King Charles I caught a Wightlink ferry across the Solent this morning

Have your say

ACCIDENT investigators have called for a tightening of safety procedures after a 14-year-old sea cadet died falling from the rigging of a sail training ship.

Jonathan Martin fell backwards more than 25ft, striking the side of the TS Royalist before falling into the sea, a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report said.

He was quickly recovered from the water and taken to hospital by the coastguard helicopter but died due to the severity of his injuries.

He had been assisting other cadets to stow the sails as the vessel was at anchor at Stokes Bay in Gosport on May 2 last year.

The report said that Jonathan, from near Ashford in Kent, fell ‘because he unclipped his belt harness... contrary to his training and onboard procedures for work at that position’.

But its investigation ‘highlighted concerns regarding the supervision of the cadets when aloft on the vessel’s masts and rigging, and the suitability of the belt harnesses provided’.

The report went on: ‘Recommendations have been made to the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and the Royal Navy aimed at improving the safety of cadets by addressing the safety issues identified and, through the development of assurance procedures, to ensure that the risks to cadets participating in this challenging, but potentially dangerous activity, are reduced to and kept as low as reasonably practicable.’