The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) examines and investigates all types of marine accidents to, or on board UK vessels worldwide and other vessels in UK territorial waters. This Safety Digest (02/17) draws the attention of the marine community to some of the lessons arising from investigations into recent accidents and incidents. It contains information which has been determined up to the time of issue.
In his introduction to the Safety Digest, Steve Clinch, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents for the MAIB says, “A fire is one of the most frightening things that can happen at sea. Often, seafarers have no ready access to the emergency services when a fire breaks out and will need to rely on their own resources, courage and training to tackle and extinguish the blaze quickly to ensure the safety of the ship and everyone on board. After reading one of the cases while editing this edition of the Safety Digest, I found myself thinking about the recent fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower, a west London residential tower block. This was an horrific incident; 80 people are currently presumed to have died but the ferocity of the fire means that the final death toll may never be known for sure. Why the Grenfell Tower fire spread so quickly is the subject of intense debate but its source was attributed to a domestic fridge/freezer that overheated. Case 10 provides a reminder that fires can quite easily start in a similar way on a ship. In that case a fire was caused when a travel fridge was placed on the carpeted area of the deck in a cabin; the lack of air circulation around the unit caused the fridge to overheat… fortunately the crew were able to extinguish the fire without too much damage being done.”
The above accident is one of just twenty five in total that are presented in this Safety Digest, all set out in a very readable and accessible format.
Part 1 – Merchant Vessels
Extract from Adrian Hibbert’s introduction to the section on merchant vessel accidents:
“Sadly, although the format of the MAIB reports may have changed, the nature of the accidents has, to a large degree, not. Complacency and overconfidence remains a common theme and both might be considered human factors related to the individual seafarer’s character rather somewhat out of the control of the ship owner; but is there more the ship owner can do?”
1. Fuel System Maintenance – No Sparks Without Fire
2. A Gap in Knowledge Leads to a Gap in the Shell Plating
3. Oh Flip
4. All For a Few Centimetres
5. A (Fire) Triangular Error Chokes an Engine Instead of a Fire
6. Now You See Me…
8. Heavy Weight + Shortcut = Fatal Fall
9. A Close Shave
10. Training Saves the Day
11. Faulty Cigarette Bin Sees Sparks Fly
12. Beware of Slack Ropes and No Shared Awareness…
13. Grounding – What Grounding?
14. Nuts About Bolts
Part 2 – Fishing Vessels
Extract from Robert Casson’s introduction to the section on fishing vessel accidents:
“Throughout my career in the fishing industry, safety has been a constant cause for concern between the industry and the regulators, and I have seen many initiatives and changes to the legal framework, and yet we are still seeing many avoidable accidents plaguing our great industry. With Brexit on our horizon and with optimism high, it is more important than ever to make a real difference to safety and welfare on our vessels.”
15. A Bump in the Night…
16. Stability Matters
17. Another Tragic Reminder of the Hazards of Potting
18. A Fatal Bight
19. Are You Aware of the Risk of Carbon Monoxide?
20. Safety First
21. Don’t Lose a Hand Through Inexperience
Part 3 – Recreational Craft
Extract from Jonty Pearce’s introduction to the section on recreational craft accidents:
“Whenever reading the cases published in the MAIB Safety Digest Recreational Craft section I am always left with a feeling of ‘there but for the grace of God go I’. Many incidents are caused by minor errors that could have been made by any of us. Others feature a compounding cascade of coincidences or bad luck; it is rare that a single overwhelming mistake is the cause of a disaster. ”
22. Are You Sitting Safely?
23. Listen to Safety Instructions
24. Bunged Up
25. Ships? I See No Ships
Download and read the MAIB Safety Digest in full: MAIBSD2-17