Antiquated Requirements - Rescue Boat Remote Control Wire

The latest multiple workboat handling system from Vestdavit:

No tangling of wires here.

It looks like you could build satellites in that room it is so clean

I don’t recall ever requiring sunglasses back in the day.

Brand new ship at the time this video was shot I guess.
Cable Laying Vessel Nexans Aurora:

Yea that sounds typical, somebody invents something great, reliable and bulletproof that worked for years but one day it’s declared not good enough!

Maybe so, we do have a weight, I think my point is more that lowering the boat causes a great deal of potential threat as the drum is turning fast, the boat is heavy and it’s a long way down, and there really isn’t a good reason to make the rescue boat self lowering.

One advantage of the remote control wire system is it is powered by gravity, which is very reliable.

If the wire is coiled on the drum properly without twists and the fairlead pulleys rotate freely, the wire is led correctly and the weight adequate I can’t think of any other reason the wire would not pay off properly. Might be some other reason to be found in the operation / maintenance manuals.

Does the brake mechanism include a centrifugal brake same as the lifeboat davits? If so that brake should lower the boat at the correct speed.

Well I’ve seen it not pay out properly before and I have a suspicion I am not the only one to witness this. The cable is held on with 1/4” shackles which do break then all bets off. When I was freefalling on the lifeboat someone said something like oh did that happen again?
As far as gravity is concerned you are correct the guillotine was the picture of reliability!

If the crew replaced the remote control wire themselves there’s a good chance it was done wrong, if that’s the case the wire is likely twisting.

I’ve never replaced the remote control wire and given the way the two drums are arranged I don’t know how it’s done.

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Nope done professionally by factory reps 6 months ago.

Best way to check is to watch the wire spool onto the drum when the boat is being raised.


To be clear the bigger picture of the issue is that the self release mechanism is an unnecessary burden which is not needed. If a proper risk assessment were done the results would be basically the advantages gained by one person operations are quickly outdone by the danger of improper operations. This discussion is based upon a Rescue boat which is different than a Lifeboat, performs a different mission and is set up slightly differently.
A Rescue boat should be able to be deployed quickly but by a team effort and in a case of picking up a floating survivor all hands would be BY DEFINITION distracted so simplicity of operations is the most important object.
Can you honestly see a situation where one man would run out and lower himself 100 feet down to run after a survivor? Keep in mind that this still is potentially possible with the lifeboats.

You should also remember that another purpose of a rescue boat (rather far fetched as it is) is that it can be used to corral and tow liferafts with survivors to a centralized location. So in that case, I could see it. Last person onboard goes down in the rescue boat sort of logic.

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I mean my main though is that lifeboats handle like shit, and on smaller units that dont have life boats, but have life rafts, it would be very advantageous to have a rescue boat to rangle everyone. A bigger target is easier to find, if someone wants to launch the rescue boat while everyone gets in the lifeboat, I Don’t blame them and wouldnt stop them.

And also keep in mind the very nature of a Man Overboard situation, the folks in the water cant help you lauch the boat now can they? Some of these smaller units with a deck department of 7, you’re going to have a hard time launching if you take more than one out of the fight.

Edit to add (pressed post a little early):

Rigging the acom, say they’re having trouble getting the hand rail up. Two ABs and the mate are out there trying to get it rigged, when the wire parts now all three are in the water. On board you have 2 ABs (asleep) at least one mate (asleep) and the Captain, two engineers, and a cook. You’ll need two people in the boat and one to tend the painter, and at least two people on the bridge. Thats just about all hands without someone tending to the brake, and half of them will be asleep, and time is of the essences. Id rather bet on a self launching mechanism over the cook waking up to lower the boat.

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To paraphrase Eddie Cochran in the old spiritual Summertime Blues….take your problem to the United Nations…or I guess IMO in this case.

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You couldn’t do that with the lifeboat??

ATBs dont have lifeboats.

It’s literally how I did it every time I launched our rescue boat. There were extra safety precautions that were in place and the weather was always perfect, but I launched myself every time.

It seems you were wise in choosing when to launch the rescue boat so an entry could be made in the logs for the next audit or inspection.

Ok you are respectfully excused!