Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has officially completed its investigation regarding the unintentional launching of a lifeboat on Maersk Giant. Officials have reported determining several regulation breaches.
On January 14th at roughly 05:10 a lifeboat was launched unintentionally from Maersk Giant. The incident took place while several lifeboat systems were being tested, which led to the mentioned PSA investigation.
As already stated, during the testing of the systems a lifeboat was unintentionally launched into the sea. The teams in charge made numerous efforts of activating the lifeboat’s manual brake but it was not functioning properly, thus the lifeboat went into the water and subsequently drifted beneath the unit itself. Eventually the steel wires that were holding it tore off.
Following the accident, the lifeboat in question drifted away from Maersk Giant, and was accompanied by a standby vessel. Eventually it managed to reach land when it got to Obrestad, located just south of Stavanger. At the time of the incident there were no seafarers aboard and nobody was hurt.
During their investigation PSA officials determined that the cause behind the accident was a malfunction in the brake system due to non-proper adjustment which had led to a reduction of the braking effect.
If the manual brake is to malfunction or seize to operate while there are people aboard the lifeboat, or in the event of an actual evacuation procedure, the results can manifest in serious injuries or even deaths, PSA commented via a statement.
In a scenario involving the descending of the lifeboat during a real non-training evacuation there is a high chance that a partially occupied lifeboat could reach the sea without having the necessary lifeboat captain aboard. The PSA also stated that it is high likely if such a case was to arise that there would be a risk of people falling off the boat or the muster area. Such situations could potentially lead to fatalities.
The PSA reported that during its investigation it managed to identify five nonconformities that can be related to:
• lifeboat- and evacuation- related procedures
• predefined maintenance routines regarding the davit system of the lifeboat
• training exercises
• qualification and follow-up of contractors
• periodic program related to competent control techniques and guaranteeing personnel expertise for the purposes of performing satisfactory maintenance work
Maersk Giant’s current operator has been reported to be Maersk Drilling Norge. PSA has officially sent a question letter to the company in order for it to examine and subsequently describe how it plans to deal with the above-mentioned nonconformities.