The Eighth District Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) of the Outer Continental Shelf issued a safety bulletin, ‘Lifeboat operations on manned facilities’, in order to alert offshore operators about an accident that took place on a floating offshore facility.
Specifically, when the accident occurred, the crew was conducting a lifeboat exercise, in line with their scheduled maintenance and training plan. When retrieving the lifeboat and while the lifeboat was at the same level with the facility’s loading deck, the personnel were transitioning from the lifeboat back onto the facility, an incident occurred causing the lifeboat and personnel to fall approximately 75 feet to the water.
After the accident, the Coast Guard launched an investigation. Thus, the USCG stated
Because the potential factors involved in this incident may be common to many facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf, immediate and positive action need not await the results of the investigation.
Therefore, the Coast Guard recommends that all owners, operators, and masters complete the following:
- Review the company’s maintenance procedures for lifeboats and ensure they adhere to manufacture criteria for the model and make of lifeboats, davits, and other installed lifesaving equipment.
- Take a proactive approach to ensure your personnel are properly trained in the inspection, maintenance and use of their lifesaving equipment.
Concluding, in light of the severity of lifeboat accidents, BIMCO developed new guidance for seafarers on the safe launching and recovery of them, using fall preventer devices (FPDs), aiming to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries.