Death of workboat Carol Anne skipper could have been avoided says MAIB Report

The collapsed crane which caused the death of the Carol Anne skipper
The collapsed crane which caused the death of the Carol Anne skipper

The MAIB has now released its report into the incident in which skipper, Jamie Kerr, died on the Carol Anne when the crane fitted to the vessel collapsed leaving the reader in little doubt that this was an avoidable accident. The installation of a crane to a workboat adds significant challenges for the marine surveyor when assessing the structure as this report highlights.

On 30 April 2015, an Atlas lorry loader crane fitted on the workboat Carol Anne collapsed while being used to offload a net at a fish farm at Balure on Loch Spelve, Scotland. The crane fell directly onto the workboat’s skipper, who was declared dead at the scene. The crane had been in operation since its installation just six and a half weeks earlier. It was not overloaded when it failed.

The Report said that “Carol Anne’s crane collapsed due to the load of the lifted net exceeding the residual strength of the fasteners causing the threads on the lock nuts on the outboard side of the crane pedestal to strip.”

The MAIB also found that Atlas Crane’s control and monitoring of the provenance of its fastenings “was not robust and its quality assurance procedures were flawed”.

Safety Issues:
No installation guidance was provided with the crane
The crane was installed with smaller and fewer tie bolts than intended by its manufacturer
The lock nuts were of a lower grade material strength than indicated by their markings
The statutory thorough examination and test of the crane following its installation did not identify the inadequacy of the mounting arrangement

In July 2015, a recommendation (2015/142) was made to Atlas (UK), the crane’s supplier, to ensure the integrity of Atlas cranes installed on other workboats. In addition, in October 2015, West Yorkshire Trading Standards was informed of the misleading markings on the lock nuts.

Recommendation (2016/122) to Atlas Maschinen GmbH, the crane’s manufacturer, is aimed at ensuring that installation information is provided with all Atlas cranes fitted in the UK.

Recommendation (2016/123) to the Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers is intended to improve the effectiveness of thorough examinations and testing of shipborne lorry loader cranes.

Recommendations (2016/124 and 2016/125) to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Inverlussa Marine Services, Carol Anne’s manager, are intended to improve adherence to, and the effectiveness of, established codes of practice with regard to the installation or replacement of shipborne cranes on workboats.

Read the report in full: MAIB Carol Anne Report

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