Jan 302013
 
Grounded, thanks to bugs

Grounded, thanks to bugs

For the first time since it was put aboard a vessel a fast rescue craft, or daughter craft was launched to carry personnel ashore in Aberdeen. Its engine stopped, due to fuel contamination, and a second craft was sent to tow it. The second craft ran into trouble when its propeller hit a rock and both craft ended up grounding without injury to personnel but significant damage to the craft.

The following investigation showed that the daughter craft had been put onboard over a year earlier in preparation for expanding the role of the vessel to include Safety Standby activities but had not been commissioned or used. During this time water and contamination built up in the DC fuel tanks. The Management of Change process was not utilised during the planning for commissioning the DC and safety standby equipment. Continue reading »

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Jan 252013
 
Position of the FRC

Position of the FRC

It seems to MAC that two questions to be asked before a risk assessment could save lives: Is it really necessary to carry out this task right now? Is this equipment being used for its designed purpose? Consider the crushing of a bosun causing fatal internal injuries whilst painting the hull of the  the Liberian registered platform supply ship ER Athina, subject of a new investigation report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

A small patch of damaged paintwork on the hull needed touching-up. despite the cosmetic nature of the intended work and the safer option of completing the paintwork repair in the sheltered waters of an alongside berth, the master’s decision to proceed with the painting was never challenged.

Since there was to be a fast rescue craft drill it was decided to carry out both tasks at the same time, the two tasks were not separately assessed.

The chief officer led a toolbox talk on the deck adjacent to the port FRC. The talk was attended by the deck cadet, Pjero, and the
OS. The points covered in the talk followed the ship manager’s risk assessment for the launch and recovery of the FRC, and it included the possible hazards and the associated control methods during the various phases of the drill. The risks of painting the port quarter were not formally assessed and, although the task was mentioned in the toolbox talk, it was not covered in any detail. Continue reading »

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Mar 072011
 

Tombarra

Contrary to some reports the tragedy aboard the Wihelmsen-operated ro-ro car carrier Tombarra in which one mariner died and three were injured on 7 February involved a fast rescue craft, FRC, rather than a lifeboat.

Lifeboats are designed for evacuation, not recovery, a concept that has proved to be dangerously limited over the past two decades, but FRCs are, or should be designed for both launch and recovery, so the tragedies that occur when they fall are especially worrying.

An investigation is underway. Local news reports refer to the breaking of a strap. Continue reading »

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Sep 132010
 
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Six rescued seafarers. Photo: MCGA

At 1145 on September 13, the crew of the BP-operated tanker, British Cormorant was carrying out a drill with the rescue boat when one of the lines snapped injuring three crewmen on the ship and causing the rescue boat to capsize which deposited the six crewmen into the water.

The Coastguard rescue helicopter from Lee on Solent was scrambled and recovered six crewmen from the water and landed them at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight.  The helicopter then recovered a crewman to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth with suspected spinal injuries from the ship.

Continue reading »

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