Apr 062011

Last week’s IMO sub-committee on ship design and equipment, DE 55, held at the International Maritime Organization’s Headquarters in London appears to have seen so uncharateristic forward motion on the issue of lifboat hooks, according o a report from BIMCO.

DE deals with life saving appliances, Polar Code, noise onboard ships, coating and corrosion protection, steel structures and pollution prevention. DE will be reporting to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

Says the BIMCO report regarding efforts to make lifeboats safer for seafarers: “At MSC 88 held in November 2010, BIMCO, amongst all other relevant shipping industry organisations, expressed severe concern about limiting the design review assessment of lifeboat release mechanisms only to focus on wear rates, as other factors contributing to release mechanism failures might not be sufficiently considered. The concern expressed by industry led IMO to reconvene an inter-sessional working group that met prior to DE 55. Continue reading »


Lifeboat Safety Survey – Help Make Lifeboats Safer

 davit-launched, freefall, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Lifeboat Safety Survey – Help Make Lifeboats Safer
Apr 042011

Lifeboat accidents kill more seafarers than Somali pirates

UPDATE: Prelim report, accident investigators now available to premium and registered subscribers.

Click here


Among those we would like to acknowledge assistance and encouragement from:

Cruise Lines International Association
International Association for Safety & Survival Training
Peter Hinchcliffe ICS/ISF

Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General, InterManager

Abdul Khalique, Principal Lecturer, Maritime & Offshore Safety, Warsash Maritime Academy

George Edenfield Head, Department of Marine Transportation at US Merchant Marine Academy
The good folks at gCaptain

(If you or your organisation/company are helping get the word and encouraging participation let us know)

MAC is carrying out a series of surveys among various industry stakeholders with regard to lifeboat safety. It is the first industry-wide survey of its kind. It will make a positive contribution to lifeboat safety and we hope you want to be a part of it. Continue reading »

Mar 282011

The fallen lifeboat: did design make it happen?

Investigations into the failure of lifeboat falls during maintenance, which led to the death of a seafarer have identified the design of the vessel’s lifeboat davits as a possible contributor to the incident.

Two seafarers in a team greasing the vessel’s number seven lifeboat falls fell when the forward fall parted. One crewmember died, the other survived. Both had been wearing a safety harness attached to a safety line stretched between the forward and aft lifeboat lifting hook arrangements.

The hydraulic telescopic davits were manufactured by Italy’s Navalimpianti Tecnimpianti Group. The lifeboats were designed and manufactured by Schat Harding and were of the MPC 36 SV partially enclosed lifeboat design.

New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission interim report into the accident aboard the Holland-America Lines Volendam in January 2010 says: “The Commission believes it is a safety issue that the design of the SPTDL-150P lifeboat davit does not facilitate a thorough examination or effective lubrication of the standing part of the wire falls where they pass around the fixed guides before terminating. Lack of effective lubrication in this area will promote rapid corrosion and possible premature failure of the wire rope fall. Difficulty in conducting a thorough examination of the wire rope in this area could result in the risk of possible premature failure of the wire rope going undetected.
Continue reading »


Ocean Ambassador Lifeboat Incident: Poor change management/training, no FPD, led to deaths

 Accident, Accident report, davit-launched, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Ocean Ambassador Lifeboat Incident: Poor change management/training, no FPD, led to deaths
Mar 052011

Ocean Ambassador's Schatt-Harding MCN 28-60 after the accident, an FPD and change management might have saved lives

Lack of familiarity and training, combined with the abence of a fall preventer led to the deaths of two seafarers and serious injuries to two other when a lifevoat fell 30 metres from its recently-installed  on-load release hook during a drill aboard the Marshall Islands-flagged drilling rig Ocean Ambassador says the Brazilian Maritime Authority.  The incident has generated considerable interest due to the involvement of the Triple 5 hook made by Survival Systems International hih has a good safety record.

The lifeboat fell because the Triple 5 hook had not been properly adjusted after installation, leaving a gap through which the suspension ring of the lifeboat falls passed during the incident. No-one one Ocean Ambassdor had been been given training regarding the Triple 5 hook or its characteristics, no maintenance manual was onboard Ocean Ambassador and none had been requested. Continue reading »


Will Schatt-Harding Break From The Pack?

 Accident, davit-launched, freefall, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Will Schatt-Harding Break From The Pack?
Jan 282011

Lifeboat manufacturer Schatt-Harding’s recent statement that the IMO and some parts of the shipping industry need to move more quickly to a consensus on vital lifeboat safety issues which have important consequences for the safety of seafarers is a welcome sign that at least part of a safety-critical industry understands that it has a credibility problem and that It is time to get its act together is welcome. Whether not it indicates that a key supplier of LSA is breaking from the pack is another question.

Schatt-Harding cerainly has good reason to want the new SOLAS requirements in place: Its new Seacure hooks are intended to met the new regulations and sales are likely to be limited until the new measures are mandatory. The company may have been as disappointed at the deliberate delay in introducing those regulations as most of the industry was. Continue reading »

Jan 112011

Holland-America Line Volendam

Several months, at least, will pass before investigation into the Volendam tragedy in which a 29 year old Indonesian drowned when a cable parted in port Lyttleton, Christchurch can be completed and it would be very unwise to speculate on specifics. Nevertheless even the sparse information so far available presents lessons regarding lifeboat safety management worth learning regardless of whether they actually applied in this individual case. Continue reading »

Jan 092011

Holland-America Line Volendam

Police in the New Zealand port of Lyttelton, Christchurch says that neither of the crewmen aboard the Holland-America Lines Volendam were wearing a lifejacket when one end of the lifeboat they were working on fell suddenly, dropping them into the water. One of the men, an Indonesian, drowned, the other managed to remain afloat using a bucket.

MAC has been unable to confirm reports that a fall wire snapped. No fall preventer appears to have been fitted. Continue reading »


Triple 5 Hook To Be Cleared In Ocean Ambassador Lifeboat Tragedy

 Accident, Accident report, davit-launched, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety, on-load  Comments Off on Triple 5 Hook To Be Cleared In Ocean Ambassador Lifeboat Tragedy
Jan 072011

SASI's Triple 5 hook has a good safety record

Maritime Accident Casebook understands that a forthcoming report on the Ocean Ambassador lifeboat tragedy will conclude that the Survival Systems International Triple 5 on-load release hook fitted to the lifeboat was not responsible.

Onload release hooks are regarded as a major contributor to lifeboat accidents. The Ocean Ambassador tragedy, in which two people were killed and two seriously injured when a lifeboat fell while being recovered aboard the semisubmersible, has attracted attention throughout the industry because of the long positive safety record of the Triple 5 hook.

The official report into the incident was finalised in December 2010 and is currently being reviewed and prepared for translation in order to be released to the maritime community.

Maritime Accident Casebook will provide details of the report once it has been formally released.

See also:

Brazil Awaits Triple 5 Lifeboat Hook Check

Dec 102010

The port lifeboat fell after snap

Marshall Islands flagged Tanker Chem Faros lost its portside lifeboat while alongside in Hamburg, Germany during a class survey for newly installed limit switches. No-one was injured but the lifeboat was severely damaged.

At 0945 local time on 17 February 2010,  the Master ordered the Chief Mate and Safety officer to test vessel’s port side lifeboat due to the forthcoming class survey By DNV

They lowered the port lifeboat times and the results were satisfactory. However, during the DNV survey, on about at 1100 hrs local time, the lifeboat was launched but the brake failed and it fell into the sea.

Continue reading »