Maintenance of rescue boats and launching equipment follow up

In CHIRP 36 (Q3-2014) we reported on the maintenance of rescue boats and launching equipment

We have since received a near-miss report.

Report Text:

An onboard safety trainer was instructing new hires on how to conduct an on-load release of a rescue boat. The training crew had completed the self-lowering of the rescue boat to a pre-determined height above the water.The trainer removed the safety pin used to keep the main release lever from moving upwards. Continuing explanations, the trainer then nudged the on-load release lever up.

The boat released and dropped into the water. One Crewmember suffered minor neck and back discomfort as a result of the incident.

Lessons Learned :

  • There are two methods for releasing the rescue boat from the hook – On load (hanging) and Off load (Rescue boat is buoyant) release. Conducting an On load release is a high risk task and should be performed in a precise and controlled manner.
  • The Safety Pin for an On load release is removed only after a safety assessment has been conducted and the conditions listed below have been met:
    • The rescue boat has been set at the correct (Safe) distance above the water;
    • Sea State assessed for release, and
    • Crew members are ready for release (ready in the boat).

Preventative Actions:

  • Off load release is the preferred method of deployment. On load release of rescue boats should only be performed when it is deemed the only option for deployment of the rescue boat;
  • On load release should only be demonstrated while the rescue boat is supported either in the chocks or in the water, and

The company is reviewing their training material