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Near-miss: Strong sun glare contributes to heavy impact on boat landing

A member reported an incident in which a CTV (crew transfer vessel) made a heavy impact on a boat landing on an offshore renewable energy turbine tower. The weather conditions were 1-1.5m significant wave height, wind on the beam of the vessel and a flood tide. On this occasion the sun was low in the sky almost directly behind the turbine tower and was causing significant glare on the water. Although sunshades were in place and adjusted, the Master found it difficult to judge the final approach and landed on the boat landing in excess of the threshold limit of 200 KN. There was no damage to the vessel or injury to crew.

View as seen by vessel Master shortly before incident
View as seen by vessel Master shortly before incident

Our member’s investigation revealed the following:

  • The heavy impact was recorded by the ‘vessel black box’ monitoring equipment;
  • Whilst the conditions made manoeuvring the CTV challenging, more than 30 landings had already been made without incident;
  • The glare made it difficult to judge the distance in final approach;
  • The approach could have been delayed to allow for the glare to reduce. Our member took the following corrective actions:
  • Revision of generic risk assessment for navigation along with procedures for small vessel operations;
  • Reminded vessel Masters to take into account all elements of visibility and to adjust their passage plans and approaches accordingly, including delaying a pickup, if they deem that the conditions are not safe.

Members may also refer to the following similar incident (key words: turbine, slip)

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