Small boat deployment near miss incident – IMCA

If you have a look at this report the root cause not uncommon. Manual release wires for FRC’s do occasionally get caught which activates the emergency lowering,this is a controlled decent  and I have done these drills on a few occasions. Being familiar with the equipment and conducting training is the way to resolve this .Another issue is when there is no weight on the wire and it hooks up on part of the superstructure of the vessel,this results in the wire over spooling and eventually jamming in the reel which takes time to repair.

Neither of these issues are what I consider HIPO’s. What is a concern is the use of fall arrestor’s during launch of boats, this is an instance where control measures put in place are more of a hazard than the original risk. In this case 2 crew left dangling 5 meters above the water. It does not take long for the effects of suspension trauma to become apparent and this report does not mention the rescue at heights procedures in place or the recovery time for the 2 crew. Using  a fall arrest system whilst a vessel is underway and conducting a rescue is an accident waiting to happen. Launching whilst underway is a very dynamic process which requires quick movement of the crew to release the hook and painter line as a priority. Attempting to do this whilst attached to a fall arrestor, or having to release yourself from this system before looking to the boats is going to result in FRC’s capsizing , crew being left dragging through the water or suspended above it.