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Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

It's a dark joke in the maritime industry that lifeboats kill more than they save. Luckily there were no deaths here but the TSB report totally misses the mark.


The crimp sleeves used to form eyes in the wire failed. The sleeves were 304 stainless steel which is completely unacceptable for this service. The lab even determined stress corrosion cracking causes the sleeves to fail. However, the TSB deflected from the root cause and and came up with some meaningless response, replace with new.
Expect more of these failures in the future. They even listed 4 similar occurrences.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Common stainless and chlorine, don't go well together, I understand.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Do you feel any better?


RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Type 304 is just awful all around if chlorides are involved. Type 316 should resist some of the problems but cold worked items such as crimp sleeves and wire are a no-go. Even the architectural railings people figured out to use 2205, I'm surprised the safety people haven't. I do wonder if the rope was provided by the lifeboat manufacturer or the ship owner.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Well, yeah can't disagree. But...this was a free-fall launched lifeboat, and was built to withstand, and allow boarded crewmembers to withstand, that 14m drop. But, they didn't bother to belt in, nor install a backup safety restraint to allow a davit (winch lowered) launch...so the injuries are kinda self-inflicted. I.e. the cable crimp sleeve snapping should not have resulted in injuries.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

I don't think that setup or materials would get past Lloyd's registry in the UK or DNV.

I have done one of those free fall lifeboat launches in Dundee Scotland. They are not particularly pleasant even when strapped in and knowing it was going to happen. My neck was shall we say tender afterwards. Must have been horrendous as a surprise and not strapped in.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

I mean, if the rig is blowing up and sinking behind you, you probably are ok with a bit of whiplash?

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

hell yes,

I am from Aberdeen and knew one of the guys that jumped off Piper Alpha and only survived because he didn't wear his life jacket.

It was more the surprise launching not strapped in I was commenting on. Lucky nobody was killed.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Overall, I believe these freefall lifeboats are safer than the gravity davit style. Launching the gravity davit type is complicated and has a narrow window of permissible conditions, usually 25 degrees list and 5 degrees trim max. The Rotner Releasing Gear is notorious for not engaging properly and dropping one end of the boat.

This particular failure bothers me because it was so preventable.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

i think so as well tug, It was all in in under 120 seconds and call of ready then they held things and went round to check we were all in properly. Then release.

Much better as you say than the swing out jobbies.

We could have been in and released in under 2 mins.

As stated above a tender neck is the least of of your problems if you had to do it for real. And i think they have changed the seats to have a head restrain now.


As an example what tug says.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Oh I forgot about the limit switches. It's been a long time since I worked on a vessel with life boats, ours have rafts. Your example, Alistair, appears to be a limit switch failure which lead to a two block situation. The beginning of every lifeboat drill I have participated in starts with testing the limit switches. I assume that procedure is born in blood..

Secondarily, they didn't secure the gripes before the boat ascended above the embarcation deck.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

I was looking for the videos of inside the freefall boats when that came up and thought that proved you point about them being safer.

Thankfully I have never had to use one for real. But had to do the offshore survival course 3 times in my life (but only been on a rig once) The first two were the swing out jobbie boats and the last one was the freefall. I might add the first time I did it was the near death experience RGIT simulator pool but thankfully they had stopped doing it by the time I had to do it the second time.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

Free Fall Lifeboat Launching (FFLB) from inside I agree if the platform is in the process of blowing up, busting loose a release, is much better than the multi step process needed to put a lifeboat on davits into the water. However I am not a fan of roller coasters.

A similar incident. Fortunately it seems freefall lifeboats are self righting. Safer, but not foolproof.
Wrong FFLB launching!

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

that's not in the same league as the oilfield training towers. Your in the air for 2-3 seconds before you hit the water and the whole lot goes under.

And you should see the saturation diving lifeboat.

I read somewhere they have escape chutes now down onto life rafts for the rigs. Similar to the old RGIT offshore survival courses workers are choosing retirement from the industry than having to do the FFLB drop again to recertify.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

For entertainment purposes:


Freefall lifeboats are available with up to a 60m rating.

RE: Injuries During Lifeboat Drill

I think the one I was in was 30 or 40 meters.

The G forces once your under water and its changing direction was the worst bit not when you hit the surface. Then it was shit my ears, grunt fart, can't breath....

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