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Old 27th April 2017, 17:01
Binnacle Binnacle is offline
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Lifeboat Accidents


Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive statistics on lifeboat accidents, but there is an ample amount of research showing a scary outcome. To name a few studies, from 1992-2004, marine insurer Gard “recorded 32 cases of accidental release of lifeboats. Five cases were without injury to people (there are certainly much more, but these five have been reported because they involved P&I claims), the others caused 12 deaths and injury to 74 people. Among the people injured there were several very serious cases of head and spine injury, some causing paralysis or possibly leading to death at a later stage. There were also a few cases where members’ vessels have picked up drifting lifeboats at sea – boats which had obviously fallen from the ships they belonged to.”
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Old 27th April 2017, 23:40
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billyboy Philippines billyboy is offline
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Certainly do not think I would have liked to be aboard a free fall boat. Anyone here experienced hitting the water in a free fall boat?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". A. Einstein.
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Old 27th July 2017, 16:27
Dave McGouldrick Dave McGouldrick is offline
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Meant to reply to this ages ago.....

Boat drill on a cruise ship alongside Port of Palm Beach Fl. Old Man decided he wanted one of the dockside boats loaded with crew to simulate pax and then swung out over the dock. Myself and 2 other guys refused to board the boat. Others went ahead. Got away with it. Absolutely stupid.
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Old 28th July 2017, 06:26
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Tom Alexander Canada Tom Alexander is offline
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Late 50's - lifeboat drill while full away northbound in the Gulf of Tehuantepec -- boat swung outboard on Welland McLaughlan gravity davits and bowsed in on the tricing lines. When two crew had boarded the boat the forward senhouse slip let go and the fireman in the bow fell between the boat and the ship's side as the boat swung outboard. It was common knowledge that the man couldn't swim, but fortuitous as being a lifeboat drill he was wearing a life jacket. The good news is that prompt action was taken and the man recovered not too much the worse for wear.
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Old 29th July 2017, 10:25
Duncan112 Duncan112 is offline
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Originally Posted by billyboy View Post
Certainly do not think I would have liked to be aboard a free fall boat. Anyone here experienced hitting the water in a free fall boat?
Yes, no problem, think Alton Towers ride.

The biggest near disaster we had was where the hydraulic jack failed to release the pin on a fully loaded boat as the roller had seized. To correct this involved one person unbelting himself and very gingerly exiting the boat to reattach the recovery bridle. The roller was a phospher bronze affair rotating on a stainless steel axle and had siezed due to dissimilar metal corrosion. I machined grease grooves and fitted a grease nipple - no more problems.

When we got the lifeboats they were a bit of a novelty and regularly used as a fairground attraction - not to mention frequent demonstrations to the sea school in Kiribati - eventually the hulls started to suffer from stress cracking - manufacturers were consulted and it would appear that, like aircraft, they have a cyclical life - launching frequency was reduced (every 6 months for a freefall more frequent lowerings on the bridle IIRCC) which led to the seizure
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Old 28th August 2017, 05:57
Naytikos Cayman Islands Naytikos is offline
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Had an unfortunate accident when doing maintenance on the port lifeboat. Swung out and lowered to boat-deck level where various small jobs were carried out by two apprentices. They climbed out and the boat was raised, the davits rotated back inboard but the air-cut-off valve failed to close and stop the winch so the after falls broke. In falling the lifeboat struck one apprentice on the head.

We were 100 miles S of Masirah at the time and I have to say the Omani airforce was right on the ball and had a helicopter on our deck within 2 hours.

The chap recovered and rejoined, but I hope never to have to push someone's brains back inside the skull again.
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