On 30 March 2015 the mooring launch Asterix girted and capsized while assisting manoeuvring of the small chemical tanker Donizetti at Fawley oil refinery, Southampton UK. The two crew from the launch were rescued the coxswain having been trapped in the upturned wheelhouse for more than an hour. The launch later sank however there was no pollution and although later recovered, the launch was declared a constructive total loss.
the coxswain’s training did not equip him for the task, and specifically did not equip him to use the gog rope/bridal effectively
the launch was not being monitored effectively, and there were weaknesses in the communications between Donizetti and Asterix
launch crews were not sufficiently experienced in the use of the emergency release mechanism and could not activate it effectively
A recommendation has been made to Østensjø Rederi AS to have full regard to the findings and references to best practice included in this investigation report in implementing its action plan.
Further recommendations have been made to Associated British Ports Southampton with regard to reviewing its assessment of towage operations within the port, and to the National Workboat Association with regard to taking account of the findings of this investigation report in its ongoing development of guidance on towing operations.