201840 Lifeboat gripe cam indented

31 May 2018 MARS

As edited from Marine Safety Forum Safety Alert 18-02


Crew were intent on lowering the lifeboat. Initially the davits failed to lower as the gripe cam remained secured. To complete the lowering, the fall wires were tensioned using the manual hoisting handle. This reduced the force between the davit arm pin and the gripe cam, allowing the gripe cam to be manually moved clear. The lifeboat was then lowered normally.

After investigation, it was found that an indentation had been worn on the face of the gripe cam due to oxidation and long, continuous contact from the davit pin. This resulted in the davit arm pin being engaged in the cam rather than moving the cam arm away as the davit was lowered. The cam consequently acted as a hook, preventing the davit arm from moving from the stowed position. The wear had not been identified during previous routine weekly lifeboat lowering exercises.

Lessons learned
- Check, recheck and re-recheck your safety gear.