The fall of the CMA CGM CHRISTOPHE COLOMB starboard lifeboat is attributable to a mechanical factor, which was very probably originated during the construction of the vessel.
During the investigation into the failure of a fall wire with the loss of one life, two causes were identified: malfunction of proximity switch and the boat being overweight.
Some of the crew were carrying out routine maintenance on one of the starboard lifeboats when the forward lifeboat fall wire parted and 2 crew members fell into the water; the lifeboat remained suspended by the aft lifeboat fall wire. One of the crew members who had fallen into the water was recovered by the rescue boat. However, the other crew member's body was eventually found some 4 hours later by port authority divers.
On completion of a lifeboat test and when lifting the lifeboat, after carrying out the tests of motor and the spraying system, the lifeboat released itself from the eye bolt connected to the forward hook of the Triple 5 Release Mechanism, remaining vertical for some moments when the after hook, that at the moment supported all the weight of the lifeboat, released it to drop into the sea from a height of approximately thirty meters. As a result of this accident, two crewmembers died and another two suffered serious injuries.
During a routine lifeboat drill, the crew experienced difficulties in getting the boat ready for recovery from the water. Difficulties were experienced with re-setting of the hooks to the locked position but after a number of trial resetting operations, secured in a state that was believed to be safe for hoisting. The lifeboat had been hoisted to the stowed position when the after hook opened unexpectedly. This was followed by a similar opening of the forward hook and the boat fell to the water where it impacted in an inverted attitude. Three seafarers in the boat sustained serious injuries.
Lowering the lifeboat it started to swing severly and it was decided to rehoist the lifeboat.. Shortly before reaching the stop position, both releasing hooks suddenly opened and the boat fell. There was no one in the boat at the time, but the first officer was injured by the falling boat.
During a lifeboat drill, while lowering the boat, there was an incident which produced an increased load on the releasing hooks. The aft hook opened and the boat swung downwards still held by the forward hook. As a result of the increased load, the forward hook tore out of the lifeboat hull and the lifeboat fell 7m to the water
On a regular crossing of the Bay of Biscay, it was discovered that the forward off-load release hook of lifeboat 13 had become detached from the forward davit fall. The forward end of the lifeboat was only held in place by the forward gripe. The forward keel chock, against which the boat rested, was also found detached from its mounting.
On the morning of 22 May 2006, while at anchor in the Bay of Sept-Îles, an abandon-ship drill was carried out on board the bulk carrier Sea Urchin. At 1150 eastern daylight time, during the recovery of the starboard lifeboat, the aft hook-release gear mechanism opened. The forward mechanism, unable to take the full load, also opened. The lifeboat then fell 11 m, stern first, into the sea, fatally injuring one of the five crew members on board.
During a lifeboat drill, there was a problem with the releasing gear safeguard when reattaching to the lifeboat. Despite this the lifeboat was hoisted. When this manoeuvre had been completed, two officers discussed the problem and decided to launch the lifeboat again. The davits were swung out and shortly after this the forward hook released, followed by the aft hook. The boat fell 15m to the water. Of the three crew members, two lost their lives.