Aberdeen-based Vroon Offshore has issued a preliminary report on the 15 December 2012 incident in which an apparently large wave smashed through the the storm shutters of the ERRV VOS Sailor killing the vessel’s Chief Officer and destroying the bridge equipment. Eleven crew were successfully evacuated. The vessel was so damaged that it has been scrapped.
Says Derek Leiper, QHSE Manager, Vroon Offshore Services Ltd: “Obviously, we are at a very early stage of investigation, but feel it is important to keep everyone updated on a regular basis”.
At 04:05 the ERRV Vos Sailor was struck by a large body of water whilst on location during heavy weather. The internal of the vessels bridge was completely destroyed along with structural damage to the forward accommodation and both front and back bridge windows shattered.
According to Lieper the Swell height at the time was reported at 12 metres; the vessel had the storm shutters up on all five front bridge windows; the vessel was head to weather, doing approx. 1.5 knots to 2 knots; all storm shields were forced through the forward windows; All bridge equipment, consols and so on were destroyed; all windows across the back of the bridge were shattered from the inside.Whether the incident involved a rogue wave has yet to be established but in 2007 EMSA said: “A new phenomenon has recently appeared in EU waters, or perhaps it is an old one which has been given better media coverage than before. Rogue waves are those which are much bigger and much more dangerous than others, and they can cause significant damage. The largest of these have been reported by oil rig workers in the North Sea at up to 20 metres high, although smaller ones have inflicted significant damage.”