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Rigging incident: Damage to bow hand rail on a crew transfer vessel (CTV)

A member has reported an incident in which the bow rail of an offshore renewables crew transfer vessel was damaged. The incident occurred whilst retrieving a buoy and clump weight on the seabed next to a wind turbine generator monopole. The line attached to the weight snagged, damaging the vessel’s bow railing. Crew were on the foredeck retrieving a buoy from the monopile (attached to a clump weight of 15-20kg which was on the seabed).

Once the buoy had been lifted on-board, two riggers quickly began retrieving the loose line until it became taut against the weight on the seabed. As they began to pull the weight up from the seabed it became snagged. The riggers fixed the line to the forward cleat so that they could reposition themselves to pull harder. Unknown to the Master, as his vision was very restricted with a large grey storage box on the foredeck, the riggers had pulled the line over the top rail and made fast to the bollard below. The rope drew tight and personnel positioned themselves away from the bow to avoid the snap back zone. The rope did not snap but it cut through the top rail and broke the middle rail off completely.

Damaged bow rail on CTV
Damaged bow rail on CTV
Sketch showing weight, box and line, and photo.
Sketch showing weight, box and line, and photo.

Our member noted the following:

  • A toolbox talk had been held on-board, including the Master and superintendent before the work took place, and at no point was it discussed that the line would be tied to the forward cleat;
  • The incident was discussed on-board after its occurrence and it was highlighted that in the event of snagging, the line should never be tied to the vessel and nothing should ever be tied over the handrails;
  • The handrail was repaired on the next maintenance day.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents (search words: rigging, CTV):

Safety Event

Published: 23 November 2015
Download: IMCA SF 19/15

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