SIPTU representatives have today called for better protections for all dock workers following the tragic death yesterday (Thursday, 21st March) of a young Latvian seafarer in Europort in Rosslare, county Wexford. SIPTU Ports, Docks and Harbour Organiser, Jerry Brennan said: “Yesterday was another extremely sad day for Irish seafaring. What makes matters worse is that this tragedy, the fifth death over the last 24 months in Irish ports, was probably avoidable. SIPTU representatives have been campaigning over recent years to highlight our members’ concerns over the lashing and securing of vessels.” He added: “The only way further incidents can be eradicated is by making sure that seafarers are able to rest while the ships are docked. What is required is that all lashing and securing is conducted by a team of trained shore workers, who work together regularly and are trained for this particularly dangerous work.” ITF Inspector, Michael Whelan, said: “Lashing and securing is a hard, dangerous job that has long been the subject of dispute. The International Transport Federation (ITF) has consistently campaigned for this job to be regulated and certified with trained shore workers carrying out the task. Ship owners and operators have resisted this and have instead insisted that seafarers carry out the job. The ITF believe that seafarers should not do this work. They should allowed to rest while in port and prepare for their next voyage.”  The ITF and SIPTU extends its deepest and most sincere condolences to the family of the late seafarer, his fellow crew members and friends.