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Fatal Accident while Launching Personal Water Craft
Janine
Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 3:48 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392


The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry released this flyer to the yachting industry that contains information on a recent fatal accident, during which a deckhand died while launching a Personal Water Craft.


Fatal accident while launching Personal Water Craft

A large yacht (750 GT, 53m LOA) was launching Personal Water Craft (PWC) while at anchor in the South of France. When the first PWC had been lowered to main deck height, a deckhand boarded the craft to ride with it to the water, in order to release the lifting slings and bring the PWC round to the stern of the yacht.

The deckhand was standing on the PWC and maintaining balance by holding the synthetic crane cable. With the PWC suspended approximately 2m above the water, lowering was resumed. Almost immediately, the inboard lifting slings failed and the PWC dropped to the water. Without the support of the PWC, the deckhand was unable to hold onto the crane cable and fell onto the PWC in the water. The deckhand landed face down on the PWC and, although remaining conscious throughout, sustained serious chest injuries. The deckhand was removed from the water and transferred to a local hospital. Sadly, he subsequently died from his injuries.

Upon inspection, the steel lifting slings in use were found to have failed in way of the crimped eye connection to the spreader beam. The slings were found to be heavily corroded and this corrosion had not been identified by the onboard maintenance and inspection regime. Further, the history and origin of the lifting sling was not readily apparent. It was stated that they were supplied with the PWC, but the model and manufacturer of the sling could not be identified and no manufacturer’s documentation of certification could be located.

The risks inherent in all lifting operations, including the launching of watercraft, must be rigorously assessed and safe working practices developed.

Procedures for lifting operations should be developed, adhered to during use and periodically reviewed.

“Man Riding” activities should only be carried out using certified and tested loose gear. The guidance in the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen, section 15.2 (Working aloft and outboard) and section 21.2 (Use of lifting equipment) should be fully taken into account.

Loose gear should be visually inspected before each use and be integrated into the onboard maintenance, inspection and testing regime.

Examinations of lifting appliances and loose gear should be carried out by persons competent, by virtue of their knowledge and experience, to do so.

When visually inspecting loose gear, sufficient areas under tape and other “protective coverings” should be inspected such that the overall condition of the loose gear can be assessed.

Sling with spreader

With protective tape

Tape removed

Sling failure

 

 

NOTE This document, containing urgent safety information, has been produced for marine safety purposes only, on the basis of information available to date. The sole objective of the investigation of any accident which is conducted under the Cayman Islands Merchant Shipping Law (2008 Revision) is the prevention of future accidents through the ascertainment of its causes and circumstances. It is not the purpose of an investigation to determine liability or, except as it is necessary to achieve its objective, to apportion blame. The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) is carrying out an investigation into this accident. MACI will publish a full report on completion of the investigation. The report will be available from www.cishipping.com. 27 July 2010


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2010 12:30 AM

I am so sorry to hear about this young gentlemen. Nothing but angry things to say about this...


Bill
Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:38 PM
Joined: 29/10/2008
Posts: 2


There must be the culture onboard every yacht that EACH crew member keep their awareness of all details concerning safety and know they can bring potential faults to the Captain attention ( through the proper chain of command) and the crew can trust a correction will take place or that it will be inspected and given the OK. I tell young crew "the day they stop trusting the captain and or the program it is from that point forward they are responsibility for their only lives and should seek other employment". This should have never happened and it is very sad! My heart goes out to him, his friends and family, and fellow crew. That was a $80 to $120 harness or a rig shop could have fix it for $50 to $60. "First thought, Best thought"
junior
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 10:55 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


How can crew be aware of Details when the captain of the yacht chooses to purchase WALL MART, agricultural grade plastic covered steel 7x19 cable because his and th crews skill level is so low that onboard fabrication is impossible ? That steel 7x19 pictured went out of use in the marine environment decades ago and was superseded by Dynema fabrics . It takes a deckhand 5 minutes, a pair of scissors, a Bic ballpoint pen, a roll of electrical tape and the splicing instructions to competently eye splice single braid Dynema. This lack of basic seamanship skills in favour of various yachty sea school qualifications like ..PERSONAL WATERCRAFT DRIVER ! plagues the entire superyacht industry.. When a crew fabricates inhouse he knows dam well the expected use and loading on rigging. The pictured lifting strap was poorly engineered from the start. A Nicro press swag fitting works by friction and require both legs of the eye swag to be parallel to the load and the sleeve if you expect to achieve rated strength. In the photo , rather than using two independent legs individualy eye spliced to a ring, a single common leg with two swagged ends was used. This immediately limits the lifting bridle to half rated strength. Additionally, the loading angle of the top swag is not parallel to the wire ,the sleeve , the force applied and prematurely fatigued the top end of the bridle. Teach your crew relevant skills so they may avoid basic accidents. http://www.neropes.com/SPL_12BraidEyeLockStitch.aspx
Chief
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 4:22 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


" A Nicro press swag fitting..."

The Nicopress company would not be happy to have its name associated with that mess. Whatever that sleeve is it is not applied according to Nicopress instructions. If it is aluminum, as it appears to be, it is not rated for rigging loads in any event. I am surprised the Cayman report did not address what appears to be substandard construction as well as the obvious lack of knowledge of the captain and crew that lead to this tragic but inevitable incident.

It is inconceivable that an experienced seafarer would have continued to use rigging made of materials unsuitable for marine use and not noticed that it was so badly corroded.

If flag and class do not respond with stricter guidelines for construction, fabrication, and inspection of rigging that is commonly, if illegally, used where "man rated" is a requirement then we should all ask why not. Say what you like about lawyers chasing ambulances but this one screams out failure of the officer licensing system, "unseaworthiness," and lack of competent supervision onboard the vessel to be raised in court.

As so many captains get so much delight in reminding all who still listen, they get the big bucks because they hold "ultimate responsibility." Well, it's time for flag to pull a captain's license and get serious about the construction and use of rigging onboard yachts.


Pascal
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 7:25 PM
Joined: 23/11/2008
Posts: 42


hard to believe that nobody noticed and worried about the rust on those cables!

those darn PWC are a PITA to launch and retrieve.   I am always worried that the spreader bars will allow the PWC to slide off  the bars since there is so little friction. We always attach a line on each side, forward to bow cleats and aft arround the back under the seat to make sure it cant' slide off the spreaders.  Last year, we got waked by a large sportfish while launching and without the line the PWC woudl have fallen 15' in the water.

Chief
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 8:38 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"hard to believe that nobody noticed and worried about the rust on those cables!"

It was impossible to miss, it was in their face every time they used that spreader. They should have been able to hear the wires making a crunching noise as they moved the rotten corroded piece of junk.

What is hard to believe is that there are people in charge of yachts who can't inspect rigging or identify when it has failed. It is hard to believe that the MCA issues licenses to people who have so little experience with boats and rigging that they would allow an obviously failed piece of equipment to kill someone when it was used improperly by someone who honestly didn't know any better.



Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 10:13 PM
It comes as no surprise a deckhand lost their life because a basic safety rule was not implemented. For years I've watch deck monkies climb into tenders, raised, lowered and suspended above a fatal fall. How simple would it to be lower these toys with a line attached and drag them back to the swim step or use a rope ladder to climb onto these craft without the risk of a fall. I'd like to see anyone bring the chain register for this yacht and show what system was in place to check all slings, shackles and lifting gear. The worst thing about this is captains allow it tomoccur because safety is secondary to service on yachts.
simongb-N2
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 2:56 PM
Joined: 21/06/2008
Posts: 17


A sad day for all and even more so when it seems as if this was a preventable accident.

If you are interested in the released by CI follow this link. http://www.littleurl.net/2f8323




Henning
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 6:02 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


2 things, first, Holy crap what was that mess they were using for a lifting rig? That looks like something a redneck finds when he mows his lawn, fer christsake.... Second, WTF was the deckhand doing riding the crane? 99.97% chance that that is not a man rated crane, and even if it was, it was not being used in a man rated configuration. Who was the officer on deck? Who was the captain? Was there a budgetary issue with a couple hundred dollar expenditure to have the equipment be in proper order? Regardless the equipment though, he should not have been riding the crane, the Master must answer for this and the only exhonerating answer is "They did that against my direct standing order which they have all signed off having read and understood", otherwise he stands with liability. Operating the vessel with that lifting rig leaves him with liability anyway. That should have been either properly inspected and reconditioned or thrown away long ago.



yachtone
Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 11:50 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


A very sad event, one would not expect fatal injuries when only 2 meters above the water, if you must do this sit down and hang on. Secondly it is all very well to blame the Capt. without knowing if he was aware of the shocking condition of this woeful piece of equipment, the users should have shown it to the bosun who should have taken it to the mate who should, if he did not have the authority to act directly, taken it to the Capt. The safety officer conducts meetings to identify just such problems, the Capt. cannot and should not have to micromanage every crewmember. So the lesson is; look, think, speak and take safety seriously it is not somebody else's job, it is yours.

Chief
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:55 AM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"A very sad event, ... it is all very well to blame the Capt. without knowing if he was aware... the users should have shown it to the bosun who should have taken it to the mate who should, ... the Capt. cannot and should not have to micromanage ... it is not somebody else's job, it is yours."

That was a wonderfully strung together collection of cliches but I think a lot of people besides me probably just about gagged reading it. Do you fully understand what you just wrote?

First, it is blindingly obvious that neither the deckhand, the bosun, the mate, the "safety officer", or anyone else on that boat was capable of evaluating the condition of the lifting gear much less question it. Secondly, it appears that riding the thing down was a commonly accepted practice on that boat. Third, it is a fair assumption that the captain knew no more about inspecting rigging than his underlings and was equally incompetent. Fourth, if he didn't know that the practice of riding the jetski down was routine, he is blind as well as dangerously stupid. If he did know and allowed the practice despite his lack of ability to determine the condition of the rigging, he is personally responsible for the death of that young man.

If the captain knew the condition of the rigging and chose to do nothing about it while allowing the practice of riding the jetski down  then he should be charged with criminal negligence. In any case, if whoever issued his license does not take action against that certificate this should stand as an example of the failure of flag to oversee yacht manning and operating practices. Since this was a Cayman flagged vessel, CISR should revoke the captain's license endorsement instantly based on the incontrovertible fact that the vessel lacked the level of professionalism the job demands.

The death of a crewman should not be dismissed with a string of catchy safety cliches. A young man is dead and a family is shattered because no one on that vessel knew enough, or cared enough, to perform the role they were certificated for and paid to do.

I sincerely hope that the parents of that young man hire a junkyard dog lawyer and kickstart the process of bringing the level of professionalism to this industry that guests deserve, owners pay for, and crews require. How many more of you have to die before you and flag states take this job seriously?

Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:21 AM
back in the early '90's I remember pulling off the dock in Bahia Mar and watching a crewmember on a 130ish yacht moving a waverunner a little over head height and how quick it slipped out the back of the lifting bridal....to this day, when it is my call, i ALWAY have a safety line fore and aft to at least keep the PWC from slipping....but YES inspections of all lifting equipment must always be continuious...
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 8:23 AM
Well Said! After reading the heading I automatically assumed that some high speed maneuver was the cause...But a deckie Killed through a launching procedure!! What the HELL was he doing on the Ski in the first place???? It just blows my mind. Surely if you were going to be that stupid to have a crew member sitting on the Ski (STILL can’t get my head around that one!) you would triple check the lifting gear. The fact that the rust was that obvious- apart from the floppy K-mart special bridle, how on earth do you allow someone to "Climb aboard"? Lost words
junior
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 11:09 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


The important lesson to learn...for all crew...is that its your responsibility as a seaman to learn and understand all the implications of maneuvers you may be asked to perform and NEVER .....I repeat never...follow orders blindly. Too many captains and officers on big yachts are completely oblivious to the dangers involved with your task. Just say NO when your instinct tells you that the task is above your skill level, unsafe or unworkable . The captain may throw a wobbly and become insulted when you do not properly respect his authority or fist full of sea school endorsements, but you will stay safe and gain the respect of your fellow shipmates.
yachtone
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:16 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


OK CHIEF,if you think those are cliches that's your view but it still would have saved a life. Secondly that sling was a piece of mechanical equipment, where was the engineer in this, did he not inspect the crane & equipment periodically or is rigging not part of the engineering syllabus. It's all very well sitting behind your desk and applying 20/20 hindsight whenever something goes wrong but (cliche following ) we need real-world solutions for real-world problems, 1000's of pwc launchings are done in exactly this manner every season without injury, had this sling been of good design and condition this tragedy would not have happened.
      There is of course the possibility that this boat was one of those boats that are constantly starved for funds which leads to high crew turnover,low experience levels and maintenance and safety spending left till something breaks, in which case bring on the lawyers.
     One more point, if the Capt. was aware of this problem and did not have the funds to fix it he should have left this employer, but this is easier said than done, with the emphasis on employment longevity in this industry it can be a career killer.

Chief
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:18 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


" ... that sling was a piece of mechanical equipment, where was the engineer in this, did he not inspect the crane & equipment periodically or is rigging not part of the engineering syllabus."

 

That sling is a piece of deck equipment. The use and condition of that item is the direct responsibility of the mate under the supervision and guidance of the master. And yes, rigging is a very large part of an engineer's job in the "real world." We lift many tons of machinery on a regular basis in port and at sea and we maintain the slings and attachments ourselves.

 

"It's all very well sitting behind your desk and applying 20/20 hindsight whenever something goes wrong but (cliche following ) we need real-world solutions for real-world problems ..."

 

I was hired into this business and my current position based on having very clear hindsight and the ability to use that to help prevent repeats of a generation of mistakes made by myself and others. My hindsight provides much more to my employer and the owners of a fleet of yachts than sitting in the crew mess of a single boat while a contractor changes the oil. Your attempt to discredit my opinion and observations of the evidence presented speaks very much more of your own lack of credibility and "real world" experience.

 

"... 1000's of pwc launchings are done in exactly this manner every season without injury ..." 

 

So, in your "real world" killing someone every few thousand launches is acceptable and justifies the lack of knowledge, training, oversight, responsibility, safe working practices, or equipment inspections by competent persons? I am sure the family of that deckhand would feel better if they accept your "real world" appraisal of shipboard safety practices.

 

" ...had this sling been of good design and condition this tragedy would not have happened."

 

If the queen had b***s she would be king. If I had discovered gold on my property I might be rich. Tell me you really didn't really mean to write such an inane and pointless comment.

 

"There is of course the possibility that this boat was one of those boats that are constantly starved for funds which leads to high crew turnover,low experience levels and maintenance and safety spending left till something breaks ..." 

 

You really don't get it do you? One of the reasons why licensing exists is that it provides a degree of control over the level of experience and training of those permitted by law to conduct certain functions in certain conditions. The system is supposed to provide a measure of professional standards and qualifications. A professional is presumed to conduct the exercise of the license privileges to a higher ethical standard  than those who lack that standing. Continuing an unsafe operation to the point of contributing to the death of a crewmember is not acceptable for any reason in the "real world."  

 

"One more point, if the Capt. was aware of this problem and did not have the funds to fix it he should have left this employer ..."

 

No, no, no. That is among the most amateur of all your statements so far. If the funds to replace the item were not forthcoming the continued use of that very obviously unsafe item was a criminal act, in my opinion. It demonstated a degree of incompetence and disregard for another person's health and safety that no other factor can ever mitigate. The failed sling should have been discarded long before this tragic incident. The fact that it was continued in use, no matter how great the turnover, no matter how small the budget is proof of the incompetence and negligence of the one person onboard that boat who had the authority and multiple opportunities to prevent this pointless death. Simply walking away from  a defective piece of equipment that is used routinely to illegally lift a human being is not the right thing to do in the "real world." It is painful to think that you might one day be in a position to make a decision that might have the same consequences as this. Your statements so far indicate that the mentality that led to the death of that deckhand is more prevalent than anyone in the industry cares to admit. Your admission only makes it very clear just how dangerously untrained and poorly supervised many crewmembers really are.

 

"... but this is easier said than done, with the emphasis on employment longevity in this industry it can be a career killer."

 

Falling to your death because your supervisor was more concerned about the budget or his longevity is a real career killer. Dying because you haven't been trained well enough to recognize faulty equipment and dangerous procedures is a real career killer. An attitude toward safety and the foundations on which safe working practices are built as indicated by many of your comments, is a real career killer. I hope that the career you kill is not one of your fellow crewmembers. That is "real life." I sincerely hope you don't have to learn it the way the rest of that crew did.


Patch
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:02 PM
Joined: 29/04/2009
Posts: 6


Anonymous Posted: 04 August 2010 01:21 back in the early '90's I remember pulling off the dock in Bahia Mar and watching a crewmember on a 130ish yacht moving a waverunner a little over head height and how quick it slipped out the back of the lifting bridal....to this day, when it is my call, i ALWAY have a safety line fore and aft to at least keep the PWC from slipping....but YES inspections of all lifting equipment must always be continuious...

 

Thats the same thing that we do when launching the PWC's.


Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 4:20 PM
What a sad event! i say Safety First, to all deck hands and bosuns you should always worry about your own safety and those around you, i luanch those pwc's all the time and our lifting strops look very similar to those, before i do anything i check the conditions and how they going to affect the lifting and dropping procedures and then i check the equipment before proceeding, you got to get this type of manner into your head and into those around you safety safety safety, there is certain danger to you and the things you are doing at all times, even if you have done them hundreds and thousands of times, Think -Safety First and act accordingly. If in doubt bail out.
Henning
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 6:03 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


A very sad event, one would not expect fatal injuries when only 2 meters above the water, if you must do this sit down and hang on. ================================ This leads me to one question, "are you dense?" You don't do this, never, period, no discussion no exceptions. ================================= Secondly it is all very well to blame the Capt. without knowing if he was aware of the shocking condition of this woeful piece of equipment, the users should have shown it to the bosun who should have taken it to the mate who should, if he did not have the authority to act directly, taken it to the Capt. The safety officer conducts meetings to identify just such problems, the Capt. cannot and should not have to micromanage every crewmember. So the lesson is; look, think, speak and take safety seriously it is not somebody else's job, it is yours. ================================= If the captain did not know the condition of that piece of equipment (and it is deck equipment, not engineering equipment which is irrelevant when it comes to the Masters responsibility as both are his, he is responsible for all three divisions on his/her vessel) then they are negligent in their duties. If they did not care, then they have crossed into Gross Negligence. If you intend to be a captain or responsible crew member, familiarize yourself with the workings of Respondeat Superior ("Let the Master Answer") with regards to maritime liability, you will see it all falls on the Master first. It may roll down hill from there as well, but it starts dumping on their head first. I don't disagree that a good crew member would have made sure the captain knew that he had a failing piece of equipment, but that does not relieve the master from their obligation to personally periodically review the condition of all safety of life components of the vessel, and that should have been caught long ago. That condition is not produced over night.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 6:40 PM
To Chief... Very well said, very appropriate, great perspective! You're obviously a very well-trained engineer. Everyone should read your responses, and lives would be saved. To Yachtone... You really need to re-think your posts and try to understand the Chief's comments, I think they are 100% correct, if not to prevent injury to yourself, then to prevent injury to those who you are responsible for. An effective breakdown of the situation... all work done can be broken down into 3 areas: People, Process & Tools. People (Capable), Process (Safe & Efficient), Tools (Appropriate to support the People and Process). This situation clearly broke down in all three areas on a very regular basis. Obviously the Tools were not adequate. The Process of riding a PWC was not correct. The People, conducting and/or managing the process were not adequately capable of understanding the situation. All jobs can be broken down and/or analyzed in this way to make them safer, easier and more effective and it is the job of the officers to make sure this is done, primarily for the safety of the passengers, the crew and the vessel.
yachtone
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 9:39 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


To chief, pray tell the last memo you sent out regarding the condition of pwc slings, providing this valuable life saving information from your font of hindsight. Also if this type of equipment (sling) is part of the engineers purview on commercial vessels why not on yachts.And you ridiculed my suggestion that this ought to have been caught by the crew or the MANDATORY safety officer at one of the MANDATORY safety meetings and yet you stick to pointing the finger at the Capt. so you pick and chose which rules should be obeyed and find that the "Yacht Capt" is always a clueless idiot.

Henning I do get it, when you have a dozen or so crew you have to have some faith in them, tell me do you believe your mate would be stupid enough to continue to use such a crap piece of equipment without mentioning it to you.

EVERYBODY especially the holier than thou types don't you ever do "rescue boat" exercises, the potential for just such an accident is written in the rules and you should be aware of the dangers, that is why we have exercises and safety meetings. If you don't , perhaps you rely on Chief to tell you how to do everything after the accident has happened, management by blame.

Finally, I am not saying there are not inexperienced and foolish Captains out there, I know that there are to many of them, but I know that a lot are good hard working, knowledgeable people who cannot be effective if they have to micromanage every facet of operation, it is essential to delegate and we should not pillory somebody without the facts no matter how damming or serious the situation.

Koru International
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 10:26 PM
Joined: 07/10/2008
Posts: 9


Shocking. Tragedy. Preventable. Although there are crew that are responsible for their specific jobs on all yachts, regardless of size, please don't ever be afriaid to speak up when something 'looks amiss' even if its not in "your department". Whether it be the fraying on the lifting straps, the rust and corrosion on the cables, or a person, a fellow crew member, a human being, putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation by "riding down" on any of the vessels toys. Accidents happen and the flag-state rules are meant to help to limit accidents. Some may grumble at the silly things that are required, but this is exactly why they exist in the first place. Use common sense. Please. And if your fellow crew member has little or none, then please help look out for them.
yachtone
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 2:13 AM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Here we go again, I am not making excuses, I am trying to prevent a further occurrence of this tragic event under the real-world conditions that exist in this industry and if you do not see the parallel with rescue-boat launching then I have to question your experience.

Regarding Chiefs' accusation that I was trying to defame him, he should look in the mirror, chief is always the first to belittle and criticise others on flimsy information & without almost any information. It's very easy to sit at a desk with your reference library at hand and pontificate on the foolishness of others while pushing the responsibility to get things done on to someone else.

         I take great exception to the suggestion that I would find it acceptable for a deckhand to die every 1000 or so launches when what I wrote would have saved this deckhands life if he had read it and acted on it.

          This is a tragedy, it cannot be undone, we have to learn realistic lessons from it to ensure that it never happens again. We should not be using this tragedy as an opportunity to score points.

           We should also not throw stones when we live in glass houses, that is why there will be a full investigation, when we have the full information then we will know the facts and can pass judgement.

          Until then we have to prevent this from happening again, safety is everybodies responsibility and no Captain would knowingly require his crew to perform this kind of launch with that equipment.

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 11:35 AM
My condolences to the family of the bereaved. It's simple really. All lifting equipment on the yacht has to be inspected and/or tested by a competent person according to LOLER. This should be by a testing company annually and by the yacht's staff on every use whether they be deck or engineering staff. I would also check this equipment monthly as part of the planned maintenence system as then these checks are documented. This means is ALL lifting equipment, whether it be a crane, crane fall, hook, bridle, round sling, flat sling, lifting shackle, eyebolt, pad eye, chain block, come-along, beam trolley, jack, wash down track system, safety harness or fall arrest equipment. Also as a rule the only cranes that are certified for man lifting is a rescue boat crane when launching a rescue boat or liferaft crane when launching a liferaft. This type of harness is a disaster waiting to happen and I have seen PWC's slide out of these harnesses more than once. They are designed for lifting the PWC into the water from the dockside not from the main/fore/sun deck of a yacht. Even launching from the dockside they are piece of crap. There are no test certificates supplied with the harness, the wire/webbing/rope is not tested and there is no traceability certificates for the aluminium used in the formed channels. In the past I have glassed in fold down lifting eyes into the PWC with backing plates and had a 3 or 4 leg flat sling "tested" bridle fabricated, the fold down PWC lifting points should be overload tested once installed as well.
junior
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 6:27 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


All lifting equipment on yachts tested " by a testing company annually " HUH ???????????????????? Im convinced you anonymous posters are all smoking the same weed. Are you telling me that there is some special subcontractor , hidden off Junk Jungle lane in the Lauderdale outback, who specializes in load testing my Bosuns chair ? Halyards ? Safety Harness's ??? Knock it off....youre gonna ruin all the young Dockwalk readers minds. On Yachts Professional seaman use lifting equipment, inspect the lifting equipment they use and if not satisfied with its condition or scantlings... THEY DONT LIFT WITH IT
G. Threepwood
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 8:19 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 28


In the merc world all slings and lifting gear is inspected and given certification for one year. All cranes are inspected and certified every year, wire hook and the lot, be it davits, provisioning cranes or cranes certified for pax transfer. Bosuns chairs and safety harnesses are inspected every year. Failure to produce up to date certificates will lead to a warning and/or in some cases fines and revoking sailing permits. An "honorable mention" is also made in the Paris MOU list of shame. If your vessel is on that list you will be dogged by port state controls until you've fixed the problems. Typically the chief engineer is the one who has the responsibility for keeping track and produce all these when a class society such as DNV or Bureau Veritias comes to check annually. He/she delegates the tasks to department officers as required. To keep track of it usually a management/maintenance program is used were all certs/monthly/weekly inspections comes up as red flagged when overdue. It has to be done, otherwise you are not legally allowed to do business upon the oceans. That is, however, the merc world, yacthing is another story all together, where it seems that most things fly until somebody gets hurt, then a lot of hub bub and then back to normal, ie very little. Yes Junior, 99 pct of the maritime world has this system of annual checks! Why would it be so hard for yachts?
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 9:00 PM
Um, yes Junior there is, and in the Yacht world all Classed vessels are "required" to provide certs for all their lifting gear and apparatus, not to mention monthly inspections.......[edited by moderator]  Even on Private Yachts that are classed. Whether or not it gets done is another story. I had a captain once that wouldn't even let me do fire drills.
kapt_mark
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:09 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 82


PWC incidents I have seen or know of from good sources:

2008, launching seadoo from bow mounted position on 50m MY, a shackle parted (which was within its SWL and appeared in good condition, made of solid stainless 316) jet ski falls 6m into the sea, nothing broken other than the shackle. I was relief crew and was off diving with the boss so didnt see it happen.

2005 seadoos not properly secured on upper deck of 106 westship crossing florida straits, both lost over board (and later found miles away by joe public) the mate who replaced me (inexperienced but the captain's nephew) was at fault for not securing them at all.

2007 and 2009 on different yachts with opacmare deck cranes, they over heat and shut down half way through lifting a tender, leaving it hanging til the crane decides to work again, when i contacted the manufacturer they said,' ciao, o yeah they are only rated for 3 minutes continuous use then over heat and shut down' leaving you with a 1  to 12 ton wrecking ball hanging 2 m from your alwgrip.

No fatalities but some bad luck, bad seamanship and bad timing all at work.  Live and learn. At least we had the cop on to know that you don't stand under anything or go for a jolly on it til its not hanging by a bit of string or woteva the teknickel turm is.

I really dislike bow mounted tenders,especially when there is no full walk around on the main deck, much harder to launch and get in to, normally use a rope ladder to send some one down after the tender is at the water line, not sure what others do?

The only lifting tackle inspections by an official surveyor i have seen involved a fat bloke with a pen knife held against the wire looking for frays, on his way to a 5 course lunch. I am sure there was more to be done.



Chief
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:14 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


Gentlemen, and Yachtone too ... in case no one noticed, the vessel under discussion is described as being Cayman flag and 750 tons.  That should click on a lightbulb for a few readers... The discussion about how rigging is managed on merchant vessels vs yachts is pretty much immaterial.

 

Let me swing my comfortable chair around in my air conditioned office for a glance at my reference library ... ah, there it is ... ISM. (thumbing through pages noises in background) Ok, here we go; "For yachts in commercial operation, the duties of XXX and the captain in relation to lifitng equipment are contained in The Merchant Shipping (Hatches and Lifting Plant) Regulations 1998. Further guidance is contained in chapters 7 and 21 of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen." Following that is a very detailed description of the training of crewmembers who are authorised to use lifting gear, the certificates required for lifting gear, the tests and who can perform them, and a schedule of testing plus a description of the paper trail that tracks all the required training, testing, and inspection of lifting gear. A recurring term used in recurring phrases is "the captain" as in "the captain shall" this that and the other with regard to testing, training, recording, and maintaining lifting gear.

 

It is a sad fact, and probably one of the branches of the tree that led to this latest tragedy, but I am willing to bet that the victim of this debacle didn't even know that an ISM manual existed, much less knew what it contained. It is quite possible the captain didn't either.

 

Yachtone, when I stated that we engineers maintained our own rigging, it was not because the maintenance and testing of rigging is the engine department's responsibility. We do it because we will not trust a decky with gear that we use regularly for very complex and weighty lifts and moves of incredibly expensive partas that pass above our heads. If you ever get a chance to work on a boat, especially one that is operated beneath the umbrella of ISM, you will note that the captain is reponsible for all that stuff you read above and the mate is given the duty of ensuring that lifting gear is operated and maintained accordingly. Yes, the engineers will work on the crane but the deck department "owns" the wire and fittings.  

 

As much as I dislike upsetting Yachtone even further, all the cliches were written and carved in stone or cast in bronze then bolted to bulkheads in wheelhouses and engine contol rooms long before he was a zygote. When it comes to the technology used to kill and maim deckhands or anyone else onboard a ship or a yacht, there hasn't been much new development since microwaves. We keep killing each other in the same old ways for the same old reasons and emotive youngsters are generally the victims, despite having a wealth of cliches to draw on from their hours in BST class.


kapt_mark
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 10:44 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 82


surely, with the copy righted words,'wave runner' boldly inscribed on the lifting cradle, yamaha must be the manufacturers of this 'thing' or atleast know who built it under license using their trade brand.

Chief
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 11:11 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"... yamaha must be the manufacturers of this 'thing' ..."

 

They probably haven't made one in many years. I see all the new ones are webbing straps. The old ones must have been prone to corrosion and catastrophic failure.


yachtone
Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2010 11:34 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Chief , Ladies and Gentlemen, I was aware from the beginning that this was an ISM yacht, hence the mention of drills and safety officers. On every ISM vessel that I have commanded there has been an illustrated manual showing the correct way to do all the usual duties, every member of the crew is required to read this and understand how to perform the duties of their responsibility, it was not necessary for the standing orders to mention all the ways things should not be done. However, it has always been emphasised that all crew should put safety first and report any thing they were concerned about to their immediate superior or the safety officer.
      
Its an unfortunate fact of life that many everyday activities can lead to injury or death, but we still cross the road, swim in the ocean, ride motorbikes etc. the important thing is to do these things with care and knowledge of the dangers and how to minimise them.

yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 12:04 AM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Chief, your last statement contradicts itself, it is the merchant code of safe practices that applies to yachts over 500 GRT. and that specifies that it is the engineer who is responsible for lifting gear maintenance no matter where onboard it is being used.

           I am not trying to take a cheap potshot at engineers, I have great admiration for those that are good at their job, whether they have the ticket or not, and just like deck officers, having the ticket is no guarantee of ability.

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 3:29 AM
At the end of the day we are all responsible for our own safety. Unfortunately it is an innate quality not everyone possess. Would any of you in this forum ever allow yourself to be lowered on a lifting apparatus such as the one under fire. ( or any for that matter). I have never let crew do that, although many young deckhands have wanted too, for the only reason that it was quicker and they were lazy. Now, if you are going to hammer on newbies who don't know better...get over yourself. When I joined my first boat I made sure I knew where the escapes, lifejackets and extinguishers were long before anyone showed me. It only stands to reason, you are on a piece of steel that only floats because of its shape loaded full of fire hazards. If you can't preserve your own life than perhaps you shouldn't be there. If you don't know that steel cable erodes, you shouldn't be there,if you don't know not to stand under a 700kg aluminium and fibreglass weight suspended over your head...you shouldn't be there. And if you ever want to climb the ranks then take it upon yourself, in your own spare time, to take a bad wave runner launching apparatus and create a secure method. There are many cheap and strong ways to do this. Safety is a way of thinking, a way of living... not a checklist or a Safety Management Plan or a monthly meeting or an International Organization.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 6:18 AM
To Yachtone... "(2) Subject to paragraph (7), the employer shall ensure that where lifting equipment or an accessory for lifting is exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations, it is (a) thoroughly examined— (i) in the case of lifting equipment for lifting persons or an accessory for lifting, at least every 6 months; (ii) in the case of other lifting equipment, at least every 12 months; or (iii) in either case, in accordance with an examination scheme; and (iv) whenever exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the lifting equipment have occurred; and (b) if appropriate, inspected by a competent person at suitable intervals, to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time." So, who is the employers'/owners' representative on the vessel?
Henning
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 1:41 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


yachtone wrote:

Henning I do get it, when you have a dozen or so crew you have to have some faith in them, tell me do you believe your mate would be stupid enough to continue to use such a crap piece of equipment without mentioning it to you.

EVERYBODY especially the holier than thou types don't you ever do "rescue boat" exercises, the potential for just such an accident is written in the rules and you should be aware of the dangers, that is why we have exercises and safety meetings. If you don't , perhaps you rely on Chief to tell you how to do everything after the accident has happened, management by blame.

Finally, I am not saying there are not inexperienced and foolish Captains out there, I know that there are to many of them, but I know that a lot are good hard working, knowledgeable people who cannot be effective if they have to micromanage every facet of operation, it is essential to delegate and we should not pillory somebody without the facts no matter how damming or serious the situation.


While a captain can delegate authority and tasks, they cannot delegate responsibility. They will always be the first to answer to outside authorities.

As for Rescue Boat drills, rescue boat gear is man rated, if not,  it's not really a rescue boat rig meant for having a man onboard for launching. Few small yachts actually have proper rescue boat gear and shouldn't be playing like they do.

Proper supervision is not the same as micromanaging. The captain failed on this, no two ways about it. I realize that it isn't politicaly correct to actually hold people responsible to do what they are supposed to, but that's just the way it is.

Chief
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 2:16 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


"At the end of the day we are all responsible for our own safety. Unfortunately it is an innate quality not everyone possess."


Which is precisely why there are maritime labor codes, codes of safe working practices, and safety management systems, in addition to BST. They codify the lessons, observations, and procedures learned over centuries of seafaring so that green hands don't have to learn it all over again on each boat. History, and in this case very recent history has taught us that our industry is riddled with amateur officers and all too often, criminally incompetent masters.

Why a master with 6 months of seatime thinks he knows more than the collected lessons of a thousand years of seafaring is beyond my comprehension. Why officers with only weeks of training believe someone with no training should recognize all hazards and know how to treat them is even further beyond comprehension. Why cliche spouting apologists defend incompetence and ignorance when the collective knowledge of thousands of maritime professionals is available to them (and is now required reading) is an indication of a culture that will do great harm to the yachting industry.


"Now, if you are going to hammer on newbies who don't know better...get over yourself."


I haven't noticed anyone hammering on newbies, they are the victims of a failed system. They are offered cliches instead of training standards and a workplace with an embedded safety culture. The examples they are shown are too often those of poorly trained amateurs who are themselves ill-equipped to handle the responsibility a deficient certification system has handed them.


"...  it is the merchant code of safe practices that applies to yachts over 500 GRT. and that specifies that it is the engineer who is responsible for lifting gear maintenance no matter where onboard it is being used."



Congratulations Yachtone, you have earned the role of  poster child for everything that is wrong with the training and certification of commercial yacht crew. In keeping with this forum's rules of decorum, I will keep the rest of my thoughts to myself.

Henning
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 2:47 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1053


junior wrote:
All lifting equipment on yachts tested " by a testing company annually " HUH ???????????????????? Im convinced you anonymous posters are all smoking the same weed. Are you telling me that there is some special subcontractor , hidden off Junk Jungle lane in the Lauderdale outback, who specializes in load testing my Bosuns chair ? Halyards ? Safety Harness's ???

Yep, Nance Rigging will take care of all that for you and return it with a certificate fit for survey.

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 3:45 PM
"Which is precisely why there are maritime labor codes, codes of safe working practices, and safety management systems, in addition to BST. They codify the lessons, observations, and procedures learned over centuries of seafaring so that green hands don't have to learn it all over again on each boat. History, and in this case very recent history has taught us that our industry is riddled with amateur officers and all too often, criminally incompetent masters. " Agreed, but when the system fails you are responsible for yourself.....everyone is always trying to blame someone else for their demise. If you get hit by a car crossing the road when the little man says walk.....who's fault ? In court...the driver. In reality.....you look both ways and see a care coming even when the man says walk...it's still your own stupidity for blindly walking across the road.
yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 4:23 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Chief, once again you are allowing your bias against yachts and the MCA to turn what should be a lesson for all of us into an opportunity to puff your chest out and belittle the majority of working yacht captains out there and particularly me because I dared to suggest that we should not stand in judgement of the captain without knowing the full story.
Belatedly you recognise that the yacht in question has to be an ISM yacht with an approved operation manual and at least 1 crane approved for "man riding" and still you continue with your attacks on the grounds of assumptions " this appears to have been a regular occurrence"( or words to that effect ) when there is nothing in the story to support this assumption, you the go on to suggest that the captain must have been blind as well as stupid if he did not know this, you also say he should personally have inspected this lifting sling yet you have no knowledge whatsoever of the captains history let alone his history on this vessel, for all we know may have only been hired days before the yachts first charter and was relying on the fleet managers assurance that the vessel was in compliance and proper procedures were in place.

            I am going to give you all another opportunity to take a shot at me; done correctly riding down and riding up ( I'd like to see the person who brings the PWC to the stern by pulling on a painter try to push the PWC back to the pick-up point using the same method ) is no more dangerous than many duties that have to be done regularly onboard. Had the unfortunate victim of this story fallen WITH the PWC instead of falling ON TO the pwc he would not have sustained serious injury.
NB. 2 meters = 6'8"

yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 4:39 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


To everyone, especially rule spouting anonymous, yes, we understand, we are always ultimately responsible but that does not mean that we must be stupid or incompetent everytime somebody does something stupid or incompetent.

The rules are the distillation of centuries of experience and we are bound to them by management even if we are not entirely happy with them, if we refuse to do something that the rules allow we get the sack, if we comply and something goes wrong, guess what happens.

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 4:39 PM
Yachtone....I hope you get to read this before the moderator deletes it.....[removed by moderator]. And you give guys like Chief ammunition to generalize about the rest of us who have clean safety records, granite, I did an intense six month commercial training course before I got into yachting so i had a clue.
yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 5:07 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


last anonymous, you also want to declare your superiority because you did a whole 6 months of COMMERCIAL training.

       Have any of you seen the crew of a commercial vessel painting the topsides, do you have half a clue how many COMMERCIAL seafarers are injured or killed every year, let alone how many Commercial Vessels are lost each year.

       Congratulations on your perfect safety record as you gain in experience and the size of your commands you will find that the mathematical odds of maintaining that record get shorter & shorter as you have to rely on more people not to do something stupid over a longer time period.

Chief
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 6:01 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


Yachtone, I will dignify your ignorant posts one more time just to ask you something. Do you honestly believe the fatal event was the first time that PWC was launched with that sling and it was the first time a deckhand rode it down? Do you, who claims to be a captain, mean to say that if you just joined a yacht, you would take a manager's word that the lifting gear was in good condition when a quick glance by anyone with at least one functioning eye would lead almost anyone to take a second look. And since you readily admit that despite all the regulations and codes of safe practice plus the specific instructions found in the safety management manual, you are quite happy to have your deckhands ride a PWC to the water? And what does a man rated crane have to do with this incident? If the lift was not made with one then it is just one more reason to hang the captain. If the crane was man rated it still does not excuse the negligence and incompetence that caused this death.


As much as I appreciate your providing more and more examples of how owners and guests are not well served you have turned this discussion into a personal issue. If you have a valid argument against any of my observations and comments please contribute them. In the meantime, the photographs in the Cayman report speak for themselves. None of us need a lab report to show that the sling was corroded and failing long before its placement and the lift. The fact that a deckhand was lifted is not supposition or opinion. If you cannot accept what Cayman Islands presented and are incapable of connecting those facts with the procedures that are in place to prevent such an event then I sincerely hope you seek employment in another field. If you are a captain as you imply, then your statements prove beyond doubt the solid foundation for my skepticism regarding the MCA licensing scheme.


If all you want to do is have a flamefest then please take it elsewhere and do not keep posting those little snippets of fantasy as facts or quotes from regulations. There are thousands of well qualified and highly competent yacht captains, the majority of whom hold MCA certificates. They have my respect and I don't hesitate to say so when the situation or conversation calls for my opinion. On the other hand, I will not hesitate to speak out when I see one whose presence in the industry or on this forum is an embarrassment to the majority. You sir, are an embarrassment to the industry and a threat to the safety of all who work with you. Good day.

Oh, just out of curiosity, you weren't the captain of that yacht were you? Your struggle to find someone who thinks the way you do makes one wonder ...

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 7:09 PM
Yachtone, My apologies, I don't know you, but all I am trying to say is that I personally don't think it is ever safe to lower a person on a jet ski. I was not claiming superiority, and I am grateful to have( at present) a good safety record and I am grateful to have had my eyes opened to safety before I went to sea, (through a maritime training facility in Canada) albeit a yacht or a commercial vessel. Energy is still energy and it can kill. Accidents do and will happen, but proper training and an aptitude for safety can reduce these incidences. If a yacht hires a deckhand who doesn't understand SWL, breaking strain, snapback zones, how to splice wire rope , principles of lifting cargo and derricks then you surely hope one of the three people (i assume from experience) involved in the launch have, and will not allow anyone be lowered on a pwc or the captain is as Chief states, negligent. I highly doubt that this was a procedure approved by the DPA, management company or written into the ISM plan....I hope I am not wrong. Further more, what the hell are jet skis doing on the foredeck to begin with. That is what some might call creative design, I call it idiocy. I have seen them launch past bridge windows, fall on zodiac assist vessels, roll and disable ground tackle equip and almost crush two people when it broke free under adverse weather conditions. Anyone who has ever gone to sea, really gone to sea will agree......nothing should ever live on the foredeck. Cheers everyone, we need to find a new topic to argue about.
yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 7:14 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Firstly chief, no I have no knowledge of the yacht in question other than what is written in the report.

Secondly I have made no defence of the use of the sling pictured and like everybody else on this forum I am mystified by the use of such a piece of crap.

Thirdly, thank you for your statement in defence of the majority of yacht captains out there, it is the 1st. positive comment of yours I have read on the subject.

Finally, no we don't know if the crane used was approved or not, and that is my point, we should wait until we know the full facts before leaping to conclusion no matter how damming things seem. In the meantime crew should be warned that systems can fail and that they have the right to safeguard themselves and should be actively involved in ensuring that dangerous practices and equipment do not go unchallenged.

On a personal note Chief I enjoy sparring with you but don't believe I have personally insulted you or any other member of the forum, so no a flamefest is not what I want, I prefer a rational debate.

yachtone
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010 7:32 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


Dear anonymous, I agree with all you say. Having said that I see nothing in the report suggesting that these PWC were stored on the foredeck, more likely ( but not a known fact ) they were stored on an upper deck and lowered to main deck level before the unfortunate deckhand boarded for the last 2 meters.

Anonymous
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 11:42 PM
Read this http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mgn332.pdf "
G. Threepwood
Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 11:40 AM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 28


Oh dear! Seems like Chief was right!! I do not see any loophole what so ever in the MGN above, neither for Captain, owner or the fact that it was a yacht. It actually specifically states that it includes yachts. We all have a duty to look after ourselves and our shipmates and guest. But you cannot shift the responsibility of noncompliance of regulations over to crew members when a: unsafe practices has been the norm, b: unregulatory lifting equipment is being used as a norm, c: no evidence of maintenance and certification is the norm on the vessel in question. This is a leadership/organizational responsibility and in this instance the captain himself is at fault for not enforcing regulatory practices onboard, ISM. I doubt if they ever did a risk assessment on launch recovery of water crafts or issued a work permit. Any gutter lawyer would have a field day with this, and the captain in question would see his life savings and endorsement fly out the window faster than a canary on speed!
 
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