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Crew transfer vessel trapped under a boat landing

A member has reported an incident in which a crew transfer vessel became trapped when the bottom section of a boat landing fixed to an offshore accommodation vessel gave way. The master of the crew transfer vessel was not able to manoeuvre the vessel free under own power, and the vessel was eventually pulled clear by another crew transfer vessel. Some of the passengers launched liferafts and abandoned ship without any obvious instructions from the crew of the transfer vessel. Personnel were in a liferaft adjacent to the vessel when it was pulled clear and could have been run down. One liferaft was launched incorrectly and did not inflate. The boat landing was damaged, and there was minor damage inflicted to the bow of the crew transfer vessel. One member of the transfer vessel crew suffered minor bruising.

Crew transfer vessel shown trapped
Crew transfer vessel shown trapped

During the investigation a number of immediate causes were noted, including:

  • Defects or failures in design of equipment (the boat landing and the bow of the crew transfer vessel);
  • Inadequate risk assessment or consideration of the deteriorating weather and sea state;
  • Unexpected relative motion between the crew transfer vessel and the accommodation vessel;
  • The trim and draft of the accommodation vessel. The underlying causes were found to be:
  • Inadequate structural integrity of the boat landing -inadequate design;
  • Existing work procedures not adequate to the work in hand;
  • The bow height of the crew transfer vessel;
  • Inadequate communication.

Actions identified included the following:

  • Repair, redesign and subsequent extension of boat landing system;
  • Use of fall arrest equipment when transferring from crew transfer boat to accommodation vessel;
  • Ensure life-rafts are properly attached to vessels;
  • Development of more adequate procedures and detailed risk assessment for this method of crew transfer.

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