A drill was being held onboard for the launching of the ship’s fast rescue boat (FRB). When it was being lowered the crew realized that the recently changed painter was too long, but decided to continue anyhow. When the boat reached the surface of the water the painter came loose, the boat swerved away and tipped over, and at the same time the cable snapped. The rescue boat was free but capsized and filled with water, and the three crew members ended up in the sea. One of them was under the rescue boat, but managed to come up after a few minutes. The crewmembers were picked up by a pilot boat. The FRB was salvaged by a working vessel. Nobody was physically injured, but the rescue boat suffered extensive damage. The cause of the incident is thought to be the hook for catching the painter, which was not fully locked. A later inspection showed that the spring that normally locks it was not functioning correctly. The fact that the painter was not sufficiently stretched is judged to be a contributing factor.
The following should be noted:
• It is extremely important that equipment in launching appliances, such as the spring on the hook, is kept in excellent condition.
• When replacing a painter, you must ensure it has the correct length.
• There is a risk that rotating propellers, both on the rescue boat and the ship, can cause personal injury.
• Risks inherent in this type of drill can be reduced, for example, by launching the rescue boat without a crew in it.