Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
LIFE BOAT FALLS N OT MAINTAINED PROPERLY
The vessel was a VLCC, anchored off Fujairah. Shell vetting inspection was carried out in the anchorage. The inspector wanted one of the life boats to be lowered and taken around the ship. Accordingly the port forward life boat was lowered and the round was taken. The boat was hoisted upto the embarkation level, and since the lunch time came up, the crew were sent off for lunch. After lunch, C/O instructed one cadet and two crew to hoist and secure the lifeboat. All others were concentrating on the vetting inspection. The 2 crew members were inside the life boat, and the cadet started hoisting the life boat with the help of air motor. While hoisting, the aft fall gave away and the life boat tilted and was hanging on with the forward fall. One of the crew fell into the water and he could not be traced. The other one hung onto the engine and he could be saved. The ship was on ballast and free board was 12 mtrs.
On analysis it was found the aft fall had corroded and damaged. There was no protective coating. It was claimed that the falls were changed end to end every year in that ship and the falls were renewed once in every 5 years. This corrosion could be due to the deposition of sulphur and exposure to exhaust gas, due to long stay at the anchorage.