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Safety Bulletins

September 2017 - BIMCO has developed new guidance for seafarers (Avoid Lifeboat Accidents’) on the safe launching and recovery of lifeboats using fall preventer devices (FPDs), to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries.The new guidance has been produced in a handy illustrated pamphlet titled: ‘Avoid Lifeboat Accidents’. It can be downloaded free of charge.

September 2016 - UK P&I Club  - Ensuring safety during lifeboat drills
As the design of lifeboats has progressed, the requirement to understand the mechanics of launching operations has become more complicated. UK Club Loss Prevention Risk Assessor, Captain Anuj Velankar remembers when he was at sea in the mid-nineties, a distrust of lifeboats was already brewing.
In Captain Velankar’s view, merchant ships such as tankers and bulk carriers, are progressively losing touch with the maintenance of wires and ropes due to lack of routine. The release mechanism are often very poorly understood on ships today and this is leading to increasing detentions and delays for shipowners. See full article HERE

March 2016 - Gard Loss Prevention Circular - While the replacement of non-compliant on-load release hooks in conventional lifeboats is now well underway, identical hooks fitted in rescue boats may go unnoticed as they are not subject to the same regulations.

Gard - difficulty resetting lifeboat hook release gear. (December 2015) - Case study for onboard safety meeting - Lifeboat safety drills and maintenance

BIMCO - Fall Preventer Devices: A User Guide - A number of current designs of on-load release hooks can be described as unstable, in that they are designed to open under the effect of the lifeboat's own weight and often need to be held closed by the operating mechanism. This means that any defects or faults in the operating mechanism, errors by the crew or incorrect resetting of the hook after being previously operated can result in premature release. A 'Fall Preventer Device' (FPD) can be used to minimise risk of injury or death in the event of the failure of the on-load hook or its release mechanism, or by accidental release of the on-load hook.

Standard P&I Club - Safety Bulletin (June 2007) - The Standard Club has handled a number of claims and casualties involving lifeboats, and we have found that a number, if not all, of the accidents were preventable.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) To reduce the possibility of lifeboat accidents, the ATSB emphasises the importance of training and drills, conducted in accordance with Regulation 19 of SOLAS Chapter III. With certain types of equipment, special training of ship’s personnel might be required so they achieve the appropriate levels of proficiency with such equipment. Download the ATSB Safety Bulletin 03 (December 2003HERE