The incident

A vessel was conducting a joint offshore oil spill response exercise involving third parties. During the exercise, the client instructed the Master to use the Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) of the vessel as a towing boat for repositioning the oil booms deployed.

During this, the mooring bollard on the FRC broke under tension when the FRC started to tow the oil boom.

Probable cause

The FRC was not appropriate for this purpose and this was not considered while planning or risk assessing the task in preparation for the exercise. A suitable work boat should have been used for positioning of the oil boom.

Recommendations

Incidents involving small boats, including work boats, Fast Rescue Craft (FRC), lifeboats or Crew Transfer Vehicles (CTV), should always be treated as having high potential for serious injury or fatality.