|Lifeboat fall prevention strops
A series of fatality alerts were related to the accidental release of lifeboats when drills were being undertaken. However, it was not possible to retro-fit bolts to the existing configuration to prevent this occurring again.
Pier Rigging of Gillingham were asked to design and fit safety strops for use during lifeboat drills.
Nylon was used to avoid problems associated with the rusting of wire strops. The strength and length of the strops and the sizing of the shackles were all considered in the design phase. The new strops will only allow the lifeboat to fall four centimetres at the maximum; whether from the stern of the vessel, at the embarkation deck or at the waterline.
Risk assessments and method statements have been re-written to ensure a safe management system and the crew have been trained over a period of four weeks, in the use of the safety strops. Several drills have been performed and the system has been proved to be effective. The strops do not interfere with the release of the lifeboat in the event of a real emergency, as they are removable.
The risk of multiple fatalities from the uncontrolled descent of the ship’s lifeboat during drills has been removed.