Failure of stores crane on trailing suction hopper dredger Sand Falcon

Location: West Thurrock, River Thames, England.

Accident Investigation Report 16/2010

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken, and recommendations:

SandFalconReport.pdf (1,748.26 kb)

Annexes (284.06 kb)


Sand Falcon was secured alongside a jetty when the trolley from its gantry-type stores crane detached and fell 7.5m, landing on the deck guardrails. The trolley weighed over 400kg and narrowly missed 7 people who were working nearby, either on the main deck or on the jetty ashore. The crane was being prepared to load ship’s stores at the time and it was not lifting any weight.

Safety issues

Poor crane design, limited access for crane maintenance, and inadequate instruction/maintenance manuals were found to be contributory factors in this accident.


In view of the actions already taken by the vessel’s operators, CEMEX, and the crane’s manufacturers, ACTA, no recommendations have been made.

A safety flyer to the shipping industry highlighting a number of the safety lessons was produced for this report.

This report was published on 25 November 2010.

Published 23 January 2015