During DP operations a vessel lost its Port azimuth thruster. The vessel suspended DP operations and safely pulled out of the 500m zone to allow investigation. It was discovered that a crew member, while passing near to the port azimuth thruster control panel in the engine control room, inadvertently hit the emergency stop button with his elbow, resulting in a stoppage of the thruster.
What were the causes?
- Lack of situational awareness;
- There was a guard in place protecting the emergency stop switch, but it was not effective.
What actions were taken?
- All similar emergency stop buttons are to be identified throughout all vessels and replaced.