Parting of wire causing workboat to fall from general cargo vessel Velox with 2 people injured

Location: Berth at Port of Southampton, England.

Completed PE Summary: Velox

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name:   Velox        
Registered owner:   Faversham Ships Ltd   Manager(s):   Faversham Ships Ltd
Port of registry:   Peel        
Flag:   Isle of Man (UK)        
Type:   General Cargo        
Built:   1992   Classification society:   GL
Construction:   Steel        
Length overall:   76.69m        
Gross tonnage:   2033        
Date & Time:   0830 on 1 September 2009        
Location of incident:   Southampton        
Incident Type:   Accident to person        
Injuries / fatalities:   Serious injuries to cadet and senior AB        
Damage / Pollution:   Stores davit wire parted and damage to the ship’s workboat        


The 77m general cargo vessel, Velox, was loading grain while berthed starboard side alongside at King George V dry dock in Southampton.

On the morning of 1 September 2009, the ship’s crew were tasked with painting the hull, and the cadet was asked to help. Two seamen were preparing the port rescue boat for the task when the master instructed them to use the starboard workboat instead.

As the rescue boat had been made ready to launch, the master decided to use this for a boat drill. Once this had taken place, the senior AB unhooked the workboat from the forward hand-operated davit and connected it, instead, to the aft electrically-driven stores davit. The senior AB and cadet boarded the workboat and the chief officer instructed the second AB to hoist it off the cradle. As the second officer and AB-cook slewed the davit to move the workboat over the side, it swung round uncontrollably and made slight contact with the ship’s funnel.

The boat was brought under control and swung outboard with the assistance of the master, who was on the quay, pulling on one of the slewing ropes. The workboat was then lowered. When it had descended approximately 2m, the wire parted close to the hook, and the boat, with its occupants, fell 8m into the water. Both the senior AB and the cadet suffered serious injuries, but were able to climb out of the boat and on to the quay. The emergency services took them to hospital and they were discharged from the vessel to enable them to receive further treatment and to recuperate.

Actions taken

Faversham Ships Ltd has:

  • Decommissioned the stores davits on Velox and her sister vessel.
  • Notified all ships in its fleet about the accident.
  • Commissioned a review of lifting appliances throughout its fleet.
  • Engaged an external consultant to review the company safety management system.

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has recommended that Faversham Ships Ltd ensures its Safety Management System captures all safety significant activities on board its vessels; and the associated safety equipment is effectively operated, maintained and inspected by competent personnel.

Published: November 2009

Published 23 January 2015