The practice of shortening the lanyards on MOB beacons was discovered by someone visiting a vessel. This was accordingly communicated to the Chief mate to be fixed.
If the lanyard is shortened, the MOB beacon may fail to activate, or, if it were activated, the person who fell overboard may find themselves in the potentially hazardous situation of being too close to the heavily smoking MOB beacon while handling the life buoy.
What went wrong?
- There was a lack of understanding of how these Life Buoys operate, as well as failure to perceive relevant hazards;
- There was improper/incomplete inspection of Life Saving Appliances onboard.
- Check length of similar lanyards attached to MOB beacons; the correct length will be prescribed in the manufacturer’s manual. It should be long enough to allow the life buoy to gain a good inertia after being thrown, before releasing the MOB beacon from its cradle;
- Include check of MOB beacon in planned maintenance schedule.
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