Console detachment from rigid inflatable boat Partner 1

Location: Studland Bay, Poole, England.

Accident Investigation Report 19/2008

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made:

Partner1Report.pdf (914.41 kb)

Annexes (3,100.84 kb)


On 20 April 2008, when participating in a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) powerboat course, three trainees and their instructor were conducting high speed manoeuvring drills on Partner 1, a new RIB-X, XP510 rigid inflatable boat. Soon after the boat had started a wide turn to starboard at a speed of between 20 and 25 knots, its combined double jockey seat and steering console suddenly detached and the instructor was thrown overboard. The trainee helmsman was also thrown to port and his movement was sufficient to operate the engine kill cord. With the boat stopped in the water, the trainees re-positioned the console, then re-started the engine and recovered the instructor. The instructor’s automatic lifejacket had inflated and he was uninjured.

Safety issues

  • the console module was secured to the deck with only four screws, of which only one had effectively penetrated the deck’s plywood base

  • the console module had not been fitted in accordance with the RIB manufacturer’s guidance

  • the RIB was not returned to an approved installer, as intended by its manufacturer, before entering service

  • the craft was not thoroughly inspected before being delivered to its owner


In May 2008, the MAIB wrote to RIB-X (manufacturer) recommending that it determine which of its boats that had been sold had not been completed by approved installers, and to check that the standard of rigging on these hulls was at least equivalent to the standard detailed in its own procedures.

The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) has been recommended to advise its members that CE marked builder’s plates should not be affixed to partly completed boats. A further recommendation has been made to RIB-X aimed at improving its quality management system and compliance with the RCD. A recommendation has also been made to Holes Bay Marine, which is intended to ensure it meets industry best practice.

This report was published on 30 October 2008.

Published 23 January 2015