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.