202127 Accommodation ladder wire rope fails

30 Apr 2021 MARS 2021

The vessel had finished berthing and the deck crew were deploying the starboard accommodation ladder for shore access. As the ladder was being lowered from its stowed position, the wire rope parted about two metres from its inboard end near of the outrigger’s outboard guide sheave. The gangway fell and hung vertically along the ship’s 
side. Fortunately, no one was injured and the ladder was recovered and secured. The wire had been installed 29 months earlier and had ecently been inspected with no defects found. It was also reported that all rollers and moving fittings were able to turn freely without any signs of defects. The company’s post-incident investigation found that the wire’s external condition appeared good. However, its internal condition was found to be poor, with corrosion evident.

Lessons learned

  • Inspecting wire rope for internal defects is especially difficult but can be achieved in many cases by opening the strands with a marlin spike.
  • Particular attention should be given to splices and any ‘hidden’ points of the wire ropes, such as in the rollers, especially at points where little or no movement takes place under normal usage.