The crew of a vessel inbound to Australia conducted an in-water test of its lifeboat and rescue boat and, when returning the boats to their cradles, stowed them incorrectly.

Although they had installed a fall preventer device so that they could safely perform work on the lifeboat, the crew failed to reset the release gear and, as a result, the entire weight of the lifeboat was resting on the fall preventer device pins.

Upon arrival in port, a flag inspector noticed the issue and immediately informed the master.

The crew placed chain blocks and maintenance slings on the lifeboats to provide support, and then removed the devices and correctly reset the release gear and preventer devices.

Fortunately the pins held, but they were not designed to take the weight of the lifeboat.

Serious damage or personal injury may have resulted had the situation gone unnoticed.