Step Change in Safety warns that a recent incident has highlighted a potential deficiency in a rescue boat painter release mechanism. During a routine launch of the rescue boat whilst at sea, the painter released early causing the towing forces normally absorbed by the painter to shift onto the fall wire once the boat was waterborne. This resulted in the rescue boat capsizing.
It is possible that the early release of the painter was due to a failure in the painter release mechanism.
A full investigation into the incident is underway and the findings will be published once complete.
The company concerned has instructed its vessel to immediately:
1. Check the painter release mechanisms on their rescue boats. Once the mechanism is released either manually or by pulling on the release wire the locking lever must spring back into the locked position.