Parting of lifting crane wire on high speed passenger craft Speedone resulting in rescue boat falling from height

Location: Port of Dover, England.

Completed PE Summary: Speedone

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Type:   fast rescue boat
Date   26/06/06
Incident Type:   equipment failure


A fast rescue boat was being hoisted without any personnel in it after a routine planned maintenance inspection and training exercise when the lifting crane wire parted. The boat fell from a height of about three metres but fortunately there were no injuries and the boat was not damaged.

The crane, its wire and the rescue boat were stored in particularly harsh conditions where they were subjected to almost constant salt spray and exhaust fumes. The wire rope was only 14 months old and the regular planned maintenance undertaken by the crew had been ineffective. Additionally an incorrect lubricant had been used which did not penetrate into the wire’s core thus allowing the corrosion in that area to be accelerated.

Action taken:

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the managers of the vessel to advise that:

  • Their planned maintenance procedures should be improved to include regular monitoring of work carried out by members of the crew.

  • Periodic inspections of all wire ropes should be thorough and should include the removal of old grease to assess the condition of the wire rope core.

  • The managers should consider the use of a thinner self penetrating lubricant to prevent internal corrosion of the rescue craft crane wire.

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