unbuiltnautilus is absolutely right, the real boat is 75 metres long and if the model is 1 metre long it means the model is 1/75th scale not 1/40th.
The good news is that a 1/72nd scale figures would look ok on the model as the discrepancy between scales decreases as the scale get smaller; for example, the difference in height for an average human would be 4mm between 1/40th and 1/43rd scale whereas between 1/72nd an 1/75th scale it would only be 1mm.
There are a lot of good figures out there to 1/72nd. My favourite for modern civilian workers would be the Airfix U.S.A.A.F. Personnel set which has a lot of guys in overall in working poses. Preiser do a railway workers set but I find Preiser figure to be expensive.
I'm willing to bet you'll find a lot of figure in this scale on Ebay.