149 - 07/00 - Store Cranes - Testing, Inspection & Maintenance

During a recent visit to a Member’s vessel the following unfortunate incident was witnessed.

While lifting a cargo net load of ship’s spares, estimated at under 300 kg, the 1 ton SWL stores crane was ripped from its base plate.  The crane fell from boat deck level to the aft quarterdeck and became jammed in the debris of the ship’s crushed side rails.  The crane was left precariously positioned over the ship’s side with the jib pointing down but with the cargo net still attached and submerged into the sea.  Fortunately, no personnel were injured during the incident. The cargo net was eventually recovered but with the loss of some very valuable generator spares and other items.

The main cause of the crane failure is still unclear.  However, it was established that considerable time had elapsed since the stores crane was last tested / inspected. The ship had left drydock two weeks previously where the ship’s main derricks had been tested and the Cargo Gear Book revalidated but no testing / inspection of the stores crane had taken place.

Members’ attention is drawn to the desirability of scheduled testing, inspection and maintenance of ALL lifting appliances. It would be expected to find procedures to cover the safe operation and maintenance of all lifting appliances under the ISM Code and Safety Management Systems.


Source of information :

Capt P J Denny – Ship Inspection Dept

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