Tank deaths - report complete

THE Health and Safety Executive has completed a report of an incident where two engineers died while working on a disused marine fuel tank in Lowestoft in March.

THE Health and Safety Executive has completed a report of an incident where two engineers died while working on a disused marine fuel tank in Lowestoft in March.

Charlie Buckenham, a member of Lowestoft's lifeboat crew, and his stepfather Brian Dove were found dead in the tank on the shore of Lake Lothing by emergency services after a seven-hour rescue operation.

It is suspected that Mr Buckenham and Mr Dove found themselves trapped in the five-metre wide, 15-metre long tank and were overcome by fumes while working as welders for local marine engineers Small and Co on March 5 this year.

The men had been working in one of four partly submerged tanks moored together off derelict industrial land owned by Associated British Ports and across the water from dry docks owned by Small and Co.


You may also want to watch:


More than 30 fire fighters from Lowestoft, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Bungay and Beccles as well as paramedics, police, coastguard and harbour workers were called to the scene at School Road, off Victoria Road, Oulton Broad, after one of the men rang for an ambulance from a mobile phone at 2pm.

An arc welder was used to widen an opening in the tank and the process was hampered by heavy steel girders built in to strengthen the tank.

Most Read

The bodies of Mr Buckenham and Mr Dove were recovered at 9.20pm.

Mr Buckenham, 52, of Hardy Close, left behind a widow, Wendy, and five children, and had worked as a volunteer lifeboatman in Lowestoft for several years.

Mr Dove, 55, was from Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth.

The Health and Safety Executive have sent their report their solicitors to consider the evidence before a decision is made whether or not to prosecute any party involved.

A copy has also been sent to the Lowestoft coroner's office, which will organise an inquest in due course.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter