Skip to content

Two potential dropped objects (Marine Safety Forum)

The MSF have published two safety alerts relating to potential dropped objects from cargo operations.

Incident 1: Missing protection cover becomes high potential dropped object

Vessel crew found a twist lock pocket cover missing from the aft main deck. The cover had washed out during heavy weather in transit. The vessel was later informed that the cover had been found in the pocket of a five-foot container which had been offloaded ashore. This would have constituted a serious high potential dropped object scenario to the crew, shore side workers and the general public.

What were the causes?

An investigation discovered that the rubber which keeps these deck covers in place was in poor condition. This enabled them to become loose and be washed out. Some additional observations were made and listed as contributing to this incident:

  • Inadequate inspection;
  • Inadequate maintenance;
  • Adverse weather and sea conditions.

What corrective actions were taken?

  • A temporary deck cover was made to remove the tripping hazards created by the missing cover. New covers were ordered and delivered on board;
  • Regular checks on the condition of the covers were to be made; this was to be added on the planned maintenance system (PMS);
  • After heavy weather, visually check the deck to see if anything is missing.

The full safety alert can be found on the MSF website.

Incident 2: Potential dropped object on top of a container

The crew on a platform noticed an object on top of a container onboard the supply vessel. The object was later found to be a large piece of wood weighing 1kg, with a possible fall height of 15-30 meters during lifting operations; there was the potential for a fatality. The origin of the wood was not known. CCTV images were captured of the container arriving at port and before being lifted onto the vessel; the wood was not seen on top of the container at either of these points. Therefore, the wood appeared on top of the container at some point between being loaded onto the boat and arriving at the offshore installation.

The MSF notes:

  • The vessel Master was contacted, who arranged for the object to be removed;
  • No preventative actions were taken – it was a great spot by the deck crew;
  • This potential dropped object demonstrates the importance of pre-lift checks and good observation at all stages in the supply chain.

The full safety alert can be found on the MSF website.

Safety Event

Published: 4 June 2018
Download: IMCA SF 11/18

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.