Captain Adrian McCourt, managing director at Watkins Superyachts, distributes safety and occasionally security related information amongst industry contacts in the interest of improving maritime safety culture and highlighting lessons that can be learned from reported incidents on board.

One such report he received from a management company refers to an accident that occurred during bunkering operations in Singapore, which resulted in injury to a crewmember. “The accident report was passed to us from the murky world of tankers,” McCourt explains. “This is not likely to be an isolated incident and it is quite conceivable that this could occur on a large yacht.”

 “One of our vessels had an accident resulting in personal injury while they prepared for receiving fuel in Singapore,” the management company reported. “The crewmember was securing the hose to the ship side/railing when the sling (rigged by the fuel supplier) parted. The hose’s quick release connector struck the crewmember in the face. He suffered some cuts and bruises on the right side of his face and above his ear. The sling from the barge was far short of any acceptable standard, having already parted previously and had been repaired by being tied in a knot.”

“Lifting gear under load is to be treated with healthy caution until it can be rendered safe."

Discussing the incident with McCourt, he emphasised that crewmembers must be reminded that they should not rely on substandard lifting gear or equipment provided by third parties. “Where it is unavoidable to do so,” he continues, “lifting gear under load is to be treated with healthy caution until it can be rendered safe. We would question the sanity and parenthood of anyone knotting a degraded webbing belt.”

Incident reports such as this can provide huge benefits to the industry as a whole if they are shared and conclusions can be drawn. The vessel in question has been extremely professional by communicating the incident and the lessons that can be learned from it in order to improve safety across the board.

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