Mar 282011

The fallen lifeboat: did design make it happen?

Investigations into the failure of lifeboat falls during maintenance, which led to the death of a seafarer have identified the design of the vessel’s lifeboat davits as a possible contributor to the incident.

Two seafarers in a team greasing the vessel’s number seven lifeboat falls fell when the forward fall parted. One crewmember died, the other survived. Both had been wearing a safety harness attached to a safety line stretched between the forward and aft lifeboat lifting hook arrangements.

The hydraulic telescopic davits were manufactured by Italy’s Navalimpianti Tecnimpianti Group. The lifeboats were designed and manufactured by Schat Harding and were of the MPC 36 SV partially enclosed lifeboat design.

New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission interim report into the accident aboard the Holland-America Lines Volendam in January 2010 says: “The Commission believes it is a safety issue that the design of the SPTDL-150P lifeboat davit does not facilitate a thorough examination or effective lubrication of the standing part of the wire falls where they pass around the fixed guides before terminating. Lack of effective lubrication in this area will promote rapid corrosion and possible premature failure of the wire rope fall. Difficulty in conducting a thorough examination of the wire rope in this area could result in the risk of possible premature failure of the wire rope going undetected.
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Ocean Ambassador Lifeboat Incident: Poor change management/training, no FPD, led to deaths

 Accident, Accident report, davit-launched, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Ocean Ambassador Lifeboat Incident: Poor change management/training, no FPD, led to deaths
Mar 052011

Ocean Ambassador's Schatt-Harding MCN 28-60 after the accident, an FPD and change management might have saved lives

Lack of familiarity and training, combined with the abence of a fall preventer led to the deaths of two seafarers and serious injuries to two other when a lifevoat fell 30 metres from its recently-installed  on-load release hook during a drill aboard the Marshall Islands-flagged drilling rig Ocean Ambassador says the Brazilian Maritime Authority.  The incident has generated considerable interest due to the involvement of the Triple 5 hook made by Survival Systems International hih has a good safety record.

The lifeboat fell because the Triple 5 hook had not been properly adjusted after installation, leaving a gap through which the suspension ring of the lifeboat falls passed during the incident. No-one one Ocean Ambassdor had been been given training regarding the Triple 5 hook or its characteristics, no maintenance manual was onboard Ocean Ambassador and none had been requested. 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 »

Bro Anton MOB Boat Failure – Oxidised Stainless Steel Bar

 Accident report, Man Overboard  Comments Off on Bro Anton MOB Boat Failure – Oxidised Stainless Steel Bar
May 032010

image After lunch, around 1 pm, on the 15 December 2009 exercises was about to be performed on the bridge onboard M/V Bro Anton. One of the exercises was the monthly lowering of its Schatt-Harding MOB boat. The purpose of the drill was to lower the boat to just above the water and at the same time check the greasing and function of the davit.

The mate showed the engineer the handle that released the hook when the boat was in the water and he pulled it, at first it was difficult to move it but after a short twist it moved more easily. He continued to pull the handle to about 90 degrees and suddenly the boat fell down on the pistons to the davit and rotated so the crew was thrown off the boat. Both boat and crew fell towards the water, a fall of about 14 meters.

The investigation shows that the direct cause of the accident was that the stainless steel bar inside the hydrostatic unit, due to oxidation, was stuck in open position.

The incident was the subject of a Safety Alert earlier this year

Full report, in Swedish, here.