OLAS Guardian is a new wireless engine kill switch released by Exposure Lights. It acts as a virtual ‘kill cord’ by stopping an engine within two seconds of a person going overboard. For RIB and powerboat drivers OLAS Guardian means their boat will stop in an instant should the skipper, or a crew member, get separated from the boat.
OLAS Guardian works by wirelessly logging up to 15 crew members to an engine’s kill switch via small, wearable transmitters, the OLAS wrist Tags or OLAS Float-On light.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about the fire on the offshore supply vessel Grand Sun, noting that substantial use of combustible wood paneling and drapery contributed to the extent of the fire.
The vessel was transiting the Chandeleur Sound in the Gulf of Mexico, about 15 miles from the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, on October 8, 2018, when she caught on fire. The four crewmembers aboard attempted to fight the fire but were unsuccessful. They remained on the stern of the vessel until they were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. The fire burned itself out, and the vessel was later towed to port. No pollution or injuries were reported. The vessel, valued at $1.6 million, was deemed a constructive total loss.
The U.S. Coast Guard has issued an alert to towboat operators about safety hazards associated with retractable pilothouses. These specialized hydraulic systems are sometimes used on towing vessels designed for low air draft restrictions.
Retractable pilothouses give towboat operators on waterways with fixed bridges the ability to lower the house and pass underneath, then raise the house to get a clearer view over their barge tows. While useful, when a pilothouse is being lowered, it presents a crushing hazard to personnel below. Some retractable pilothouses may also be operated in an “emergency mode” that increases the rate of descent and provides less time for workers to recognize the situation and get clear of the danger zone.
The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has released its report into the accommodation fire on board fishing trawler Dong Won 701 in April 2018, citing issues with the structure of the vessel and crew firefighting efforts.