976 - 06/14 - Freefall Lifeboat Incident - Worldwide

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released a report involving a freefall lifeboat accident that the Club wishes to bring to the attention of owners of vessels fitted with similar freefall systems.

In this incident the hook designed to hold the boat until it was launched had not reset correctly following a previous exercise where the boat was launched.  An engineer, while working in the boat and unaware of the hook problem, felt it judder and realised it had started to move. This would not have been a major issue had the simulation wires not parted, that they did meant the boat launched off the back of the ship and the engineer was injured.

This vessel was just 3 years old yet the hook for whatever reason had not reset in the way it should have, possibly due to damage or corrosion, and the simulation wires had parted well below their SWL.  The very wires crews will rely on when doing a simulated launch.

The full report can be found at the ATSB website here

Source of information

Australian Transport Safety Bureau


UK P&I Club Loss Prevention Dept


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