Heavy landing on a rigid inflatable boat with 1 person injured

Location: River Thames, England.

Accident Investigation Report 1/2011

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

DeltaRIBReport.pdf (806.64 kb)

Annexes (1,581.84 kb)


At approximately 0708 on 6 May 2010 a male passenger on a Delta 8.5m rigid inflatable boat (RIB) suffered lower back compression fractures while the boat was transporting him, with fellow workers, to a jack-up rig on the River Thames. The injury occurred as the passenger landed heavily on a locker lid, where he had been sitting, after he had been momentarily lifted off the lid due to the motion of the craft.

Safety Issues

  • the injured person was permitted to sit in a location in which, with the boat proceeding at high speed, he was unable to maintain the posture necessary to prevent injury
  • the syllabus for the RYA Powerboat Level 2 training course did not include reference to the hazards of shock and vibration impacts which passengers may be exposed to on small high-speed craft
  • There was no speed limit on the River Thames in the area in which the accident occurred


A recommendation has been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to prioritise and resource the revision of MGN 280 to ensure the updated code of practice for small commercial vessels is published as early as possible. A recommendation has also been made to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and the MCA to jointly issue a safety alert to promulgate the lessons learnt from this accident.

This report was published on 27 January 2011.

Published 23 January 2015