Report: Crashing of a Rescue Boat into the Sea

The German Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) published an in deep analysis of a Rescue Boat launching, with three sailors in the boat, which went wrong.

It is a still ongoing investigation, for now presented in their category ‘Lessons Learned’.
It seems the crew on board could not have prevented this; the fault was deep inside the winch.

The report >>>


I would never have considered rescuing anyone with one of these boats. they are invariably placed where the boat is lowered over the propeller aperture and with a 15hp outboard are completely unsuited for purpose.

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Both of our rescue boats, a RIB and an FRC, are stowed just aft of the bridge wings (forward bridge).
They are, however, what seems to be about 3000 feet up in the air which is just terrifying for all involved.

This is the type if thing that would hopefully get noticed during annual class inspections.

Ive been running various types of rescue craft for 20 years off my ships and have been properly operating small boats much longer. Without lots of good training by someone who knows what they are doing launching and recovering at anchor or alongside can be very hazardous. Launching and recovering underway is a whole other animal that requires a extremely skilled operator and boat crew. Commercial operations don’t allow any of this training. MSC is about the only place where you might get a shot to properly train.

The type of craft involved in this incident scares the crap out of me after seeing one on load releasing gear fail a few years ago on a boat very similar to this one.

Gravity davit with a boat cradle should be the standard. I have not yet used the modern pivot davit systems. Radial davits should be gone.

The only area that a coxswain of a fast rescue boat will get experience and hone their skills is on a seismic survey ship. Not only the FRC, but work boats are in use and are always launched when the ship is underway and making way.