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 »

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 »

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 »

Dec 272010

Damaged lifeboats are expensive.

A company investigation into the parting of a wire fall during the recovery of a freefall lifeboat highlights the hazards created when wedge socket arrangements are improperly fitted. Note that in this case the wedge socket arrangement was installed while the ship was being built, so just because something is ‘factory-fresh’ does not mean it has been put together properly.

Wedge sockets are popular because they are easy to install and are used where end termination can be made only after the wire rope has been reeved into place.

Says an internal report by the ship manager: “During a routine boat drill the Free-fall lifeboat had been lowered to the water during the drill using the A-Frame and was being recovered when the fall wire parted causing the boat to fall some nine metres to the water.

Continue reading »

Lifeboat Safety Survey For Ship Owners Launched

 Accident, davit-launched, freefall, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Lifeboat Safety Survey For Ship Owners Launched
Nov 162010

Lifeboat accidents kill more seafarers than Somali pirates

Maritime Accident Casebook has launched the third module in the first international lifeboat safety survey. This module enables shipowners, management companies and operators to participate in the Lifeboat Safety Survey.

This is the first industry-wide effort to collect statistically significant data. The lack of adequate data on the issue was recently commented on by BIMCO, which says: “The fact that no international statistics were available made BIMCO feel that there was a need for more detailed knowledge about accidents with on-load release hooks on lifeboats and the use of fall preventer devices”.

Says Bob Couttie, administrator of Maritime Accident Casebook: “Maritime industry organisations across the board have expressed concern over lifeboat safety issues but that concern has been matched in some quarters by objections to making the very serious changes needed to find human, technical and regulatory solutions in a timely manner.

“Lifeboat accidents are a far greater cause of life of life than piracy off Somalia yet get far less attention.

“The incoming IMO measures regarding on-load release hooks are welcome but it must be born in mind that the introduction and implementation was poorly thought-through and only now, after more than two decades of seafarer deaths is it being corrected. We cannot allow that sort of thing to happen again”.

The first module, aimed at accident investigators will be completed on 30 November and a preliminary report issued in mid-December.

A parallel module, aimed at current and retired seafarers and offshore workers is expected to be complete by mid-2011.

Further modules will be aimed at the insurance sector, especially P&I clubs, training organisations and lifesaving appliance manufacturers and suppliers.

Participation in the survey is confidential and respondents will not be individually identified. “There is certainly a fear of retribution in some quarters so, whether that fear is justified or not, we have to take account of it to reassure participants.”

The survey, which is independently supported, is available on the Maritime Accident Casebook website at http://maritimeaccident.org.

Aug 122010

imageMad Rock Marine Solutions Inc., which manufactures emergency evacuation technologies for marine environments, has partnered with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s MUN Safety and Risk Engineering Group to develop a Failure Mode Effect Analysis, FMEA, tool for lifeboat release gear systems.

MUN’s Safety and Risk Engineering group is a leading research team in the area of fault diagnosis, failure analysis and risk assessment in offshore oil and gas and process industries. Dr. Fiasal Khan heads the team that is working closely with Mad Rock develop this tool.

Continue reading »

Lifeboat Issues Hampering Norwegian Oil

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Sep 092009

oil production is likely to be hampered on the Norwegian continental shelf, NCS, due to freefall lifeboat issues

StatoilHydro has warned that oil production is likely to be hampered on the Norwegian continental shelf, NCS,  due to freefall lifeboat issues during the coming expected winter extreme weather in the area.

A number of freefall lifeboat-related issues have emerged in the region over the past year, ranging from quality-control to a need to strengthen canopies. Lifeboats are regarded as the secondary evacuation system on StatoilHydro platforms, helicopters being the primary means. So far free fall lifeboats have not been used an actual evacuation.

Continue reading »