Lifeboat Hooks “real progress”

 IMO, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety, LSA Code  Comments Off on Lifeboat Hooks “real progress”
Mar 202009
 

Early reports from delegates at the 52nd meeting of the International Maritime Organisation’s Sub-Committee on the design of equipment, DE, indicate that significant progress has been made on lifeboat safety under the Life Saving Appliance Code, LSA.

An industry executive tells MAC that the draft language is ‘satisfactory’, but will still had to be approved by the IMO in plenary session.

The last year’s session was met with severe disappointment by the industry when safety issues fell off the agenda under pressure and was dominated by moves to ensure the existence and profitability of the third-party lifeboat maintenance sector.

Lifeboat accidents have increased dramatically, especially during drills, since the introduction of poorly thought-out on-load release hook regulations. Under the regulations, lifeboat releases were designed to fail into an unsafe condition if something went wrong. Lifeboats are not regarded as ‘people carriers’, like building lifts and equipment used in the offshore industry which must ‘fail to safe’ if something goes wrong.. As a result, failure of the release hooks frequently causes serious injury or death.

Incidents have been blamed on poor training and maintenance by seafarers but poor lifeboat design, unclear signage, badly written manuals, operating procedures, and poorly designed release systems are common.  Counterfeit equipment and ‘copycat’ releases made of under-specification materials are addition factors.

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The Case Of The Fallen Saviour

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Freefall release fears shut platform

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Freefall release fears shut platform
Jan 132009
 

Problems with freefall lifeboat releases have led to the shutdown of the StatoilHydro-operated Kristin platform off Norway. Investigations are underway both by Statoil and Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA..

In December last year a freefall lifeboat on the Veslefrikk B platform failed to launch as part of an operation to replace the lifeboat. The release hook required lubrication and several movements before it would function.

Further hook release problems arose with the new freefall lifeboat when fully laden.

The same type of Umoe-Schatt Harding FF1000S had been installed on the Kristin platform. Staffing on the platform has now been cut from 90 to 16 following similar hook release problems in mid-December.

Last year, a freefall lifeboat of similar design on Veslefrikk B suffered damage when launched during a test, again leading to a platform shutdown, revealing design flaws. Three freefall lifeboats were taken out of service. In a meeting with the PSA, Statoil expressed doubt “concerning the quality of these lifeboats as a means of evacuation during all types of weather conditions.”.

See also:

The Case Of The Fallen Saviour

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