Skip to content

Fatal crush incident between platform supply vessel and fast rescue craft (2012)

This is an old incident which occurred ten years ago in Aberdeen. The initial Marine Accident Investigation Branch report here was brought to members’ attention as IMCA SF 04/13 Fatal crush injury during vessel hull maintenance. It is brought to our attention again following a further report published by the Scottish government in April this year.

What happened

On  10 June 2012, the bosun on board a platform supply ship was fatally injured when he was crushed between the ship’s hull and the lifting frame of the ship’s fast rescue craft (FRC). The bosun was the FRC’s coxswain and the FRC was being positioned alongside the supply ship’s port quarter to repair a small area of damaged paintwork. The bosun suffered severe internal chest injuries and was evacuated ashore for medical treatment. He died soon after arriving at hospital. 

What went wrong?

The MAIB investigation identified that:

  • The FRC was being set against the port quarter of the platform supply ship by the prevailing swell and tidal stream and the bosun was possibly trying to push the FRC away from the supply ship’s hull;
  • The use of the FRC as a painting platform had not been properly planned and the risks involved had not been formally assessed;
  • There was a failure to call for emergency medical assistance in a timely way: the severity of the bosun’s injuries was not immediately recognised, and his transfer to hospital ashore would probably have been quicker if it had been arranged through the coastguard rather than the ship’s agent.


  • Raise awareness of vessel crews regarding the importance of completing risk assessments when undertaking new or unusual tasks;
  • Ensure that prompt action is taken when a medical emergency occurs on board;
  • “Those responsible for operating…vessels…should have in place the necessary training, guidance, procedures and rules to ensure informed and appropriate responses to medical incidents of uncertain severity. These measures should ensure that an appropriate assessment is carried out as quickly as possible so that the potential medical emergencies are treated as such”

 Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 20 June 2022
Download: IMCA SF 15/22

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
Submit a Report

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.