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Painter parted during small boat operations

What happened

The Marine Safety Forum (MSF) reports an incident in which the forward painter quick release on a fast rescue craft (FRC) parted during recovery of the boat. Three crew members were in the FRC.

During recovery of the FRC, the forward painter quick release parted just as the FRC was lifted out of the water. The FRC then swung to starboard causing the stern to come into contact with the mother vessel. The jet guard struck the side of the vessel and the jet itself struck the side of the vessel. The FRC bucket was cracked, as was the jet inside the bucket and the jet guard was found slightly bent. The FRC was recovered with no injuries to the crew-members.

What went wrong/causes

  • The forward painter quick release mechanism used had no time limit for use nor inspection criteria, and had been in operation for two years;
  • A previous near miss had been recorded where the clip had parted resulting in a visual inspection of the ‘outside’ of the quick release where the spring mechanism cannot be viewed.

Lessons learnt/actions taken

The incident happened in calm summer conditions. The crew were briefed and trained (irrespective of weather conditions) to brace themselves and hold on tightly when being lifted; had this not been the case then there was potential for injury or fall from the FRC.

The springs inside the quick release clip will deteriorate with weather exposure and high usage and cannot be viewed from the outside. There were no records of inspections within the planned maintenance system.

The following corrective actions were carried out:

  • The quick release mechanism was replaced immediately with a G-link type, eliminating the spring mechanism;
  • Planned maintenance system – 6 monthly visual inspection implemented;
  • Risk assessment reviewed;
  • All crew reminded to be conscious of dangers at all times – complacency is not an option!

Members may wish to review the following incident:

Safety Event

Published: 25 July 2017
Download: IMCA SF 18/17

Relevant life-saving rules:
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