Skip to content

Searchlight fell from vessel during heavy weather

What happened

The starboard wing searchlight became detached from its mounting bracket in heavy weather, and fell directly into the sea, snapping the secondary tether that was in place.

What went wrong

The secondary tether was jury rigged out of a whip-check designed to contain a parting airline; it was not designed to take any loads.

Dropped searchlight following heavy weather
Remaining Searchlight with Additional Securing

What was the cause

Our member identified the following:

  • Immediate Causes
    • Exposure to extreme weather
    • Dropped Object
  • Underlying Causes
    • Inadequate safety controls
  • Root Cause(s)
    • Improper safety securing device – Secured with whip check which is not designed to hold weight

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 31 May 2022
Download: IMCA SF 13/22

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.