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Beware the dangers of the tide / current

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  • Beware the dangers of the tide / current

    I notice the MAIB recently published a report on a fatal accident that occurred onboard the E.R.AthinA where the person killed was crushed between the boat they were on (an FRC) and the hull of the ship.

    Amongst other things one point noted by the investigation was the lack of risk assessment by the officers involved, where they had failed to identify the risk that the boat may have gone under the hull. The report states that the Captain and Chief Officer noticed they were having difficulty and asked the boats crew if the task could still go ahead - while hindsight is great perhaps having seen the difficulty they were experiencing the decision should of been made to abort the plan...

    A similar event has happened before (the outcome was the same - although in totally different circumstances).

    So in short - Risk assessments are expected for a reason - don't treat them as simple paperwork exercises. Every crew member has the right to question if something is safe - so if you find yourself faced with similar circumstances do not be afraid to speak up.

    Lastly, something I am always shouting at people for doing during drills - NEVER put yourself in the position of being between a small boat and the ships hull! You will not make a good fender.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

  • #2
    Right, whilst Alistair has given good advice about not getting in between small crafts and ships, this is actually just the direct cause of these accidents, it is not the root cause.

    If you read the report on the Athina, it was obvious that no one on board thought anything of the risks involved in what they were doing, and from what I read it did not strike me as a particularly good idea in the first place. Risk assessments are not just a paperwork or arse covering exercise, the idea is for you to think about what it is you're going to be doing and how can you do it safely. If you think it's dangerous, then ****ing shout out and get clarification. If they are planning to do something without using proper permits, then again, ****ing shout out about it and stop the work. No one will sack you for it and if they try then they will have to explain why. Believe me, we've sacked folks for not following proper safety procedures..

    The lesson to take away here folks, think about what you're doing, do the risk assessment, get the necessary permits and then go from there. If it seems like a bad idea, then it probably is and the best safety officer for your safety is YOU!
    Last edited by GuinnessMan; 16 March 2013, 11:01 PM. Reason: updated as needed
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

    All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.