Feb 212016
 

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA,  says an improperly adjusted winch brake, which it refers to as ‘vulnerable’, led to the unintentionally launch of a lifeboat from the mobile unit Mærsk Giant at about 05.10 on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

This incident occurred during testing of the lifeboat systems.

During testing, one of the lifeboats unintentionally descended to the sea. Efforts were made to activate the manual brake on the lifeboat winch, but it was not working. The lifeboat entered the water and drifted beneath the unit. The steel wires holding it were eventually torn off.

After the incident, the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant, accompanied by a standby vessel. The lifeboat eventually reached land at Obrestad south of Stavanger.

Nobody was in the lifeboat when the incident occurred, and no personnel were injured.

The PSA conducted an investigation which established that the direct cause of the incident was a reduction in the braking effect of the brake on the lifeboat winch owing to faulty adjustment. If the manual brake failed during maintenance with people in the lifeboat, or during an actual evacuation, serious personal injury or deaths could have resulted.

Should the lifeboat have descended during an actual evacuation, a partially filled lifeboat could have reached the sea without a lifeboat captain on board. The PSA also considers it likely that people would have been at risk of falling from the lifeboat or the muster area should a descent have started. The potential consequence could be fatalities.

Five nonconformities were identified by this investigation. These related to

  • maintenance routines for the lifeboat davit system
  • training
  • procedures relating to lifeboats and evacuation
  • periodic programme for competent control and ensuring the expertise of personnel carrying out maintenance work
  • qualification and follow-up of contractors.

Mærsk Giant is operated by Maersk Drilling Norge.

PSA Report (Norwegian)

Feb 092015
 

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The Case of the Fall From Grace

If you don’t look after your lifeboat
it won’t look after you

Continue reading »

Jan 192015
 

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority is investigation the fall of an umanned lifeboat from the rig Maersk Giant during a test in which a wire rope broke, dropping the lfeboat which then drifted underneath the facility.  Later the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant with an emergency vessel as escort. Continue reading »

Nov 172014
 

If you don’t look after your lifeboat

It won’t look after you

We want to adapt this for a seven minute video and mobile app to be distributed free of charge to seafarers. PSC surveys to hand out or show during their visits, shipping companies to their fleets, P&I Clubs to their members, seafarers organisations to their members. Video will undoubtedly be more effective at getting the messages across, however, it does cost a lot more to make to a professional standard. We need to raise a modest $5,000 to cover the cost of producing the video. If you’d like to help save seafarers lives, and address a leading cause if seafarer fatalities then check out the project here.

 

Listen to the podcast

ist engineeros.jpg

We’ll call them Paul and Butch. Not their real names but they were real people. They can no longer tell you their story.

Paul was Third Engineer and Butch was an Ordinary Seaman aboard the Lowlands Grace when she anchored in ballast nearly 12 miles off Port Hedland, Australia on the morning of the 6th of October, 2004 to wait for a cargo of iron ore for China. Continue reading »

Nov 022014
 

coralprincessOne seafarer is dead and another injured following the fall of a lifeboat (Initial reports referred to a rescue craft) while being recovered aboard the Bermuda-flagged cruise ship Corel Princess in Colon, Panama. An investigation is underway and the full circumstances are not yet known but the incident will certainly bring attention to long-standing concerns regarding the safety of fast rescue craft/fast rescue boats in recent years.

In a statement quoted on the Cruiselaw website Princess cruises says: ““On October 24 two of our crew members were in one of the ship’s rescue boats doing some maintenance work on the hull of Coral Princess. When the boat was being raised back onboard the ship, one of the cables that raises and lowers the boat parted, and the boat dropped back into the water with our two crew members inside. Continue reading »

Oct 092014
 

PSAlifeboatSparked by a freefall lifeboat incident nine years ago Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority will chew on comments regarding proposed new lifeboat safety rules over the next few months. The aim, says the PSA is “returning us to the level of safety we thought prevailed in 2005”.

Some 480 lifeboats may be affected and the offshor industry has alleged that the regulations could cost $10bn to implement. While the changes will apply to operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, NCS, it is likely that PSA’s opposite number, the UK’s Health and Safety Authority, may review its own regulations on lifeboats. Continue reading »

Jun 092014
 

wiresConcerns have arisen regarding the dangers of a hydraulic ram not being properly reset after use in Chinese-made JX-4 release mechanisms from Jiangsu Jiaoyan Marine Equipment Company after a freefall lifeboat launched during a maintenance inspection seriously injuring the occupant. Simulations wires which should have restrained the lifeboat and prevented the launch also failed below their safe working load and are being investigated.

The issue has come to light in a preliminary report by Australia’s Transport Safety Board on the inadvertent launch of a lifeboat from the gearedbulk carrier Aquarosa in March this year.

In Singapore, 5 days before the incident, the second engineer was involved with multiple checks of the lifeboat release hook operation. During these checks, he noticed that the hydraulic system was low on oil and he topped it up. He also noted that the activation of the hook release required between 10 and 15 operations of the hydraulic pump handle. Continue reading »

Feb 272013
 
Forward Davit Arm Showing Parted Wire

Forward Davit Arm Showing Parted Wire. Photo: Maritime Safety Investigation Unit

Malta’s Maritime Safety Investigation Unit has issued a safety alert following the discovery of significant corrosion on inner strands of a fall wire involved in the falling of of a lifeboat on 10 February 2013. Five seafarers died in the incident which occurred aboard Thomson Majesty while berthed alongside in Santa Crux de La Palma.

Says the safety alert: ” The wire rope had parted approximately where it rested over the topmost sheave, when the davit was in a stowed position.

“The fore and aft davit’s falls were replaced on 22 August 2010 and the next scheduled replacement was August 2014.
 “The launching appliance had been dynamically tested in May 2012.
“Initial results of the tests carried out on the parted ends of the wire indicate significant corrosion damage to the inner strands of the wire”. Continue reading »
Feb 102013
 
Five died and three injured in the worst lifeboat tragedy of recent years

Five died and three injured in the worst lifeboat tragedy of recent years

Unacceptable levels of deaths and injuries during lifeboat drills have again been highlighted with the loss of five lives during a drill aboard the Malta-registered Thomson Majesty cruise ship in the Canaries. Three others were injured, two of them severely, when the davit-launched lifeboat fell while being recovered from the water towards the end of the drill.

Leading maritime website gCaptain says that early reports indicate that the lifeboat fell approximately 65 feet to the water, landing upside down, and killing the five and injuring three others aboard. Those killed are believed to be three Indonesians, a Filipino and a Ghanaian, Reuters has reported. None of the 1,498 passengers on board at the time were involved. Continue reading »