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 »

Jan 042013


Are your lifeboats complaint with the new SOLAS amendments? If you have not already done so it might be worth a check.
A 2006 study on behalf of Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency concluded :”most of the more serious accidents, particularly those leading to fatalities, occur because of problems with the on-load release hooks… this study has found that many existing on-load release hooks, whilst satisfying the current regulations, may be inherently unsafe and therefore not fit for purpose”.
Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS, aimed at preventing accidents during lifeboat launching entered into force on 1 January 2013.
The amendments, adopted in May 2011, add a new paragraph 5 to SOLAS regulation III/1, to require lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with new International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code requirements to be replaced, no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July 2014 but, in any case, not later than 1 July 2019.
The SOLAS amendment is intended to establish new, stricter, safety standards for lifeboat release and retrieval systems, and will require the assessment and possible replacement of a large number of lifeboat release hooks.
Information submitted by flag States on their assessments of existing lifeboat hooks is available on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) under Evaluation of Hooks.


Saga Sapphire Lifeboat Incident – A Familiar Can Of Worms

 Accident, Accident report, davit-launched, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Saga Sapphire Lifeboat Incident – A Familiar Can Of Worms
Dec 302012
The lifeboat roof had no no-slip coating.

The lifeboat roof had no no-slip coating.

That two men survived falling from a lifeboat in Southampton on 29 March 2012 was a matter more of luck than judgement. Others have not been so lucky. In its 66 page report on the incident the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch continues to raise issues of concern, including lifeboat design, the use of safety equipment, lifeboat ergonomics and change management.

At 1020 on 29 March 2012, two crewmen fell 22m into the water from Saga Sapphire’s No 5 lifeboat while the ship was secured port side alongside in Southampton. They sustained minor injuries.

At 1000, as part of an expanded Port State Control inspection, a drill had been initiated and the starboard side lifeboats were lowered and held alongside deck 9 by their tricing pennants. No 5 lifeboat’s bowsing tackles
were rigged, tensioned from the coach roof and secured to bitts welded to the bowsing tackle blocks fitted to the lifeboat lifting plates. On the order to release the tricing pennants, the forward crewman, who was a first cook, was unable to remove the drop-nosed pin securing the tricing pennant hook release lever in the closed position.
The overseeing fourth officer went to assist. As he removed the pin and operated the release lever, the first cook stepped to one side and the forward bowsing rope came free from the bitts. Without tension on the bowsing tackle, the lifeboat swung violently away from the ship’s side and heeled to port. The fourth officer and first cook, who were not wearing any form of personal restraint, slipped from the smooth coach roof and fell into the water. They were quickly recovered by other members of the crew.

It was an accident waiting to happen: As the vessel emerged from a delayed refit on 16 March, it was found that the bowsing tackle ropes were too large to be held on the bitts, but no action was taken to replace them. The first cook had not received any training for his specific role and none of the lifeboat preparation party or crew wore a safety harness and tether; those harnesses that were on board were life expired. As the ship’s management team assisted with the refit project work, training oversight was inadequate, no one took responsibility for lifeboat training and the ship’s safety management organisation was improperly prepared for its operational role.

The Acromas Group has initiated a review of the refit project management and consequences of the refit completion delays. In addition, some changes have been made to the lifeboat-related documentation, equipment and procedures.
Recommendations have been made to Acromas Shipping Ltd to ensure its proposed changes to the operation of its lifeboats are formally approved; operating instructions for bowsing and tricing equipment across its fleet are consistent and accord with best practice; and that arrangements are put in place to ensure that future refit plans accommodate the need to fully establish the ship’s Safety Management Organisation and complete crew training before the vessel enters service.

Among the conclusions:

1. The first cook’s lack of experience and inadequate understanding of his lifeboat crew duties resulted in him being unable to operate the forward bowsing gear and to release the tricing pennant safely when instructed to do so.

2. The method of securing the bowsing tackle rope to the bitts makes the rope vulnerable to slippage, resulting in slackening of the bowsing tackle if the operator is not in-line with the bitts to back up the tail of the rope.

3. The tender coach roofs and the open lifeboats’ stem and stern compartment roofs, which were accessed by the lifeboat teams, were smooth and not finished with a non-skid application to prevent falling as required by LSA Code and Section 3.10 of
MSN 1676(M).

4. Requiring a single crewman to secure and hold the bowsing tackle rope and, at the same time, remove the drop-nosed pin securing the tricing pennant release lever, and then operate the tricing pennant release lever, risks overloading that person.

5. Commercial pressure impacted on the ship’s management team’s focus on preparing the vessel for its operational role.

6. The STO’s reporting line by-passed the SO and, despite having the ship’s overall training responsibility, there was no evidence that the onboard safety management team provided anything other than a superficial level of training oversight.

7. There was no evidence that the need to allocate time for training requirements had been integrated into the refit project management plan.

8. The quality and management of the lifeboat preparation training was below the standard necessary for the lifeboats to have been launched safely by the crew nominated on the muster/emergency plan.

9. No one formally took control of delivering the lifeboat-related training despite the master advising the STO to consult with the SO, and the master instructing the SO to prioritise lifeboat training.

10. Those involved in training management failed to identify the first cook’s lack of experience and to ensure that he had received sufficient training for his lifeboat crew role.

11. The ship’s safety management organisation was weak and ill-prepared for its operational role in areas of management and oversight of training, risk assessments and control of PPE.

Other safety issues identified during the investigation also leading to recommendations:
1. The revised method of securing the bowsing tackle tail rope to the ‘yellow bar’ welded to the lifting plate is potentially unsafe. The bar is an undocumented modification, there is no evidence it has been subjected to a load test, and it may well be unfit for the purpose for which it is now being used.

2. There is variation in the procedures promulgated on board for releasing the tricing pennants, which can cause confusion. Releasing the tricing pennants after the passengers have embarked in the lifeboat can lead to overload of the tricing pennant
and equipment failure. There should be uniformity in the operating procedure instructions.

3. Post-accident instruction promulgated by the ship’s manager, requiring the Saga fleet to operate the bowsing tackle and tricing pennants from within the lifeboats, cannot be achieved safely in all cases. The instruction is confusing and should be re-issued with clarification in respect of the required operating procedure.
4. The programmed training schedule for the “Lifeboat Preparation Teams” was intended to include the lifeboat crews but this was not made clear. It should be unambiguous that the training relates to both the preparation team and lifeboat crew.

5. The Certificates Checklist, which identified training needs, did not include lifeboat preparation and crew training requirements.

6. There is no evidence that the paint contaminated, webbing jacklines fitted to the roofs of Saga Ruby’s tenders to which the crew attach their safety harness tethers, have undergone any formal design consideration or load-testing. There is a risk that a shock-loading may cause the securing eyebolts or jackline to fail.

Safety issues identified during the investigation which have been addressed or have not resulted in recommendations

1. Neither the fourth officer nor the first cook wore a safety harness and tether despite working at height.

2. It was not possible, nor was it intended for a crew member standing inside a lifeboat, to operate the bowsing and tricing gear through the coach roof hatches.

3. The only satisfactory way of accessing the bowsing tackle and tricing pennant arrangements was by standing on the coach roofs of the tenders and on the stem and stern compartment roofs of the open lifeboats.

4. Neither the Malta administration’s FSI Reports, nor GL’s Survey Statement identified the omission of non-skid surfaces from the tender coach roofs or the open lifeboat stem and stern compartment roofs.

5. The use of the oversized bowsing tackle ropes identified in Palermo compromised safety because they jammed in the bowsing blocks and did not allow the rope to be properly secured to the bitts. Despite the master’s instruction to change them, it was
not fully implemented.

6. The amount of refit work undertaken by contractors on the passage to Southampton and the refit-related work undertaken by the crew, both in Palermo and while at sea, impacted on the availability of the crew for training and the quality of the training.

7. The delays in the refit completion date and the late delivery of the overweight lifeboats to the ship resulted in multiple changes to the muster/emergency plan, which had a negative effect on training continuity because of changing training needs.

Download the Sapphire Saga Report here

See Also:

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

Christophe Colomb Lifeboat Fatalities: “Make Lifeboats Like Cars” Says BEAmer

Volendam Lifeboat Fatality: Davit Design Issue

BIMCO “Frustrated” at Flag State Unconcern On Lifeboat Deaths

Tombarra FRC Fatality: MAIB Tells ILAMA: “Make davit systems/boats safer”

Another Two Lifeboat Deaths

Chem Faros Lifeboat – Brake Broke Lifeboat

Wedgie cracks Lifeboat

Bolt Strip Drops Lifeboat

LSA Exemption Certificate: Cap Henri Did Not Comply

Lifeboats And Lavatories – Leave Then As You Would Like To Find Them

Lifeboats: Trashy Training Troubles Tokyo/Paris MoUs

Schatt-Harding – “hooks made of wrong steel”

Lifeboat D-Ring Alert

NEPIA Highlights Lifeboat Safety

Freefall release fears shut platform

Lifeboats – The Pinto Of The Sea

Free Fall Lifeboat Hazards – A Drop In The Ocean

Lifeboat hooks not fit for purpose – Worldwide

Australian Maritime Safety Authority: Prevention of accidents with lifeboats

Lifeboats – Who gives a f*** ?

Your Lifeboat Experiences

Tombarra Tragedy Highlights FRC Incidents

DMA Issues MOB-Boat Guidelines After Anna Maersk Fatality – Accidents ‘inacceptable’

British Sapphire FRC: Interlock “Could not work as designed”

Nopsa: Inspections Lead To Offshore Lifeboat Concerns

Post Tombarra: Check Limit Switches/Davits

Tombarra Tragedy – Watch That Weight, Says MAIB

DMA Issues MOB-Boat Guidelines After Anna Maersk Fatality – Accidents ‘inacceptable’

Offshore Lifeboats “Fail to meet levels of safety assumed to exist”

Nopsa: Inspections Lead To Offshore Lifeboat Concerns

Lifeboat Issues Hampering Norwegian Oil

Freefall release fears shut platform

Safety Alert — IADC Caution on Lifeboats

Free Fall Lifeboat Hazards – A Drop In The Ocean

Lifeboat Providers In Dock After Typhoon Nate Fatalities

Lifeboats: Trashy Training Troubles Tokyo/Paris MoUs

Schatt-Harding – “hooks made of wrong steel”

Lifeboat D-Ring Alert

NEPIA Highlights Lifeboat Safety

Freefall release fears shut platform

Lifeboats – The Pinto Of The Sea

Lifeboat hooks not fit for purpose – Worldwide

Australian Maritime Safety Authority: Prevention of accidents with lifeboats

Your Lifeboat Experiences



DMA Issues MOB-Boat Guidelines After Anna Maersk Fatality – Accidents ‘Unacceptable’

 Accident, Fast Rescue Boat/Craft, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on DMA Issues MOB-Boat Guidelines After Anna Maersk Fatality – Accidents ‘Unacceptable’
Apr 172012

One Filipino seafarer was killed and a Danish officer seriously injured in the incident in Kobe, Japan when boat falls allegedly failed.

Denmark’s Maritime Authority, DMA, has issued guidelines for abandon ship and fire drills following a fatality aboard the containership Anna Maersk on 27 March. One Filipino seafarer was killed and a Danish officer seriously injured in the incident in Kobe, Japan when boat falls allegedly failed.

Fatalities and injuries during lifeboat drills are disturbingly common but in recent years there have been a number of reports involving fast rescue craft. DMA says: “In recent years, the shipping industry has experienced an unacceptable number of serious accidents during abandon ship drills and fire drills”.

Continue reading »

Lifeboat Providers In Dock After Typhoon Nate Fatalities

 Accident, lifeboat  Comments Off on Lifeboat Providers In Dock After Typhoon Nate Fatalities
Apr 092012

Lifeboat from Trinity II

Last September, a liftboat accident set 10 men adrift on a lifeboat in the Gulf of Mexico after abandoning the Trinity II rig during the height of Tropical Storm Nate. Three men died during the ordeal, and another passed away shortly after the group was rescued.

In wake of the accident, two survivors filed a Louisiana maritime accident lawsuit, claiming negligence on the part of Australia-based liftboat operator Mermaid Marine and its American business partners, Trinity Liftboat Services and Geokinetics, Inc.

Three other survivors have filed a similar lawsuit in Texas.

Defendants Seeking to Limit Liability

Trinity Liftboat Services, the Louisiana Company that owned the liftboat on which the men were working, recently filed a petition in Louisiana federal court to limit their legal liability. According to the filing, the company is requesting “exoneration from or limitation of liability for all claims of damage, injury, loss, death or destruction” resulting from the maritime accident. Continue reading »

Aug 082011

The hull could not hold it's own weight.

France’s accident investigation agency, BEAmer, has called for lifeboats and sub-assemblies to be subject to the same sort of quality and risk controls as in the car industry to protect lives. The call comes in BEAmer’s investigation report into the fall of a lifeboat from the containership Christophe Colomb in Shenzhen earlier this year which found that a safety-critical part had not been installed during assembly and the lifeboat hull fittings could support its own weight on a single hook.

Three men were aboard the Christophe Colomb’s starboard lifeboat during a drill. While the lifeboat was being recovered the forward pulley block contacted the davit, the swivel broke away from the linking devices to the quick release hook. As the lifeboat tipped down the the part of the hull on which the base plate of the aft hook was bolted had been torn off. After a 24 metre fall into the water he lifeboat ended upside down.

An officer and a cadet died and an AB severely injured.

BEAmer concludes that a spring pin had not been installed on the forward release hook assembly when it was manufactured. The swivel nut holding the assembly unscrewed , leading the failure of the assembly. Continue reading »