Man loses leg in port horror

A TUGBOAT captain has lost part of his leg after an horrific accident at Felixstowe port.

A TUGBOAT captain has lost part of his leg after an horrific accident at Felixstowe port.

Geoff Bull is still in hospital today after having his lower leg amputated after he became trapped between the vessel Haven Harrier and a floating pontoon at Landguard Terminal.

The accident happened as the 16 metre Haven Harrier - a pilot launch which operates in the Harwich Harbour area - was alongside the temporary pontoon.

Mr Bull, who is believed to be aged in his 40s and from Harwich, works for Svitzer Towage, which has a base at Felixstowe port, when he became trapped as the launch came up against the mooring last Thursday.

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Port paramedics are understood to have attended immediately and after being freed, Mr Bull was taken to Ipswich Hospital.

However, his leg was so badly crushed by the weight of the vessel that doctors had no option but to amputate.

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The Marine Accident and Investigation Branch (MAIB) has been called in to investigate the incident as it technically happened at sea rather than on the port itself.

The floating pontoon has been built because the Dock Basin - home to tug companies for many years - is being filled in as part of the redevelopment of the southern part of the port.

The floating pontoon at Landguard was built during the summer as a new base until the expansion is complete.

Six huge metal piles were put in place to tether the jetty, which is at the southern end of the terminal, which will not be redeveloped until phase two of the £250 million expansion scheme - probably not until 2014 at the earliest.

The MAIB said it was holding a “preliminary investigation” which would decide if there was a need for a further, more detailed examination of the incident.

It was early days and not known at this stage how long the initial inquiries would take.

James Curry, managing director of Svitzer Towage, said he could not comment while the MAIB investigation was ongoing.

Do you work on the pontoon - do you have safety concerns? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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