Skip to content

Transponder explosion

We have received a report of an incident on one of our members’ vessels where a Simrad SHT SPT 319 transponder was retrieved from the seabed. Once on deck and during the opening procedure of the housing, to enable the batteries to be checked, there was a build-up of internal pressure. This caused an explosion of the internal casing resulting in flying debris and the subsequent formation and release of possibly toxic gases. Fortunately no-one was injured in this incident.

The contractor involved has advised its personnel to treat all transponders with care and if there is any doubt about any unit it should be put in safe quarantine until expert help is arranged. They advise that Simrad’s operations manual should be referenced for safety guidelines.

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.