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Failure of fall wire – update to safety flash 05/11

Members will recall that the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) published Safety Bulletin 1/11 regarding the failure of a fall wire which caused a rescue boat to fall into the sea, with a subsequent fatality.

Following further findings regrading this incident, the UK MAIB has published a second Safety Bulletin 2/11 (attached) on this incident. The failure of the fall wire was the result of the malfunction of a proximity switch. The incident occurred as the rescue boat reached its stowed position on the davit following a monthly drill. Hoisting was not stopped before the davit reached its stowed position. The proximity switch, that should have cut electrical power to the winch motor before the davit reached its stops, failed to function. The rescue boat and its four crew members fell nearly 29 metres into the water below. One of the boat’s crew members had died and two were hospitalised.

Further information can be found at

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