Blue Note: Bad Design = Lucky Three In Close Call

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Apr 172012

Three seafarers were lucky to escape without serious injury

Catastrophic failure of a hatch-lid gantry crane on the dry cargo vessel Blue Note on 22 July 2 011, resulting in a close-call for three seafarers, highlights the importance of safety considerations in equipment design. As with certain lifeboats, the design of the gantry crane affected made it difficult to see whether hooks were properly secured while an attitude of expediency rather than safety prevailed onboard.

Says the recently released UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, report: ” The design of the crane made it difficult for ships’ staff to verify if the lifting hooks were correctly engaged in the lifting sockets provided on the hatch-lids…  There was no risk assessment covering the operation of the crane and movement of the hatch-lids. As a consequence, ship’s staff had adopted poorly considered working procedures that focused on expediency rather than safety”.

The result was that on 22 July 2011, the hatch-lid gantry crane derailed while it was carrying a single hatch-lid to its stowed position in preparation for discharging cargo.

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