Report on marine accident - foundering of the work boat Maalfrid LG-4857,12 May 2017

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Description

During work at a fish farm outside Storoy, a bottom ring rope entangled the work boat Maalfrids propeller. To release the rope from the propeller, the crew attempted to use the vessel's crane to lift on the next bottom ring rope rope while the inspection hatch over the propeller was open. This led to the water flowing freely into starboard hull. As a result, the vessel sank, however both crew members survived the accident.

The workboat Maalfrid sunk during work at a fish farm located north of Karmoy on 12 May 2017. A bottom ring rope entangled the starboard propeller, hence it was necessary to remove the rope before the operation of raising the bottom ring could continue. To get an overview of the situation, the crew decided to open the inspection hatch over the propeller. There existed no instructions or warnings about using the inspection hatch.

To release the rope from the propeller, the crew tried to use the vessel's crane to lift on the next bottom ring rope. The inspection hatch above the propeller was still open and the freeboard in the tube beneath the inspection hatch was small. Hence, the lifting operation led to an increased draft on the vessel’s starboard side, which in turn resulted in water flowing freely into the starboard hull through the inspection hatch. As a result, the vessel sank, however both crew members survived the accident. The vessel was raised after the accident, and the inspection hatches on both Maalfrid and a sister ship was subsequently secured by welding by the ship owner.

Opening the inspection hatch weakened the vessel's watertight integrity. The ship owner had not identified any hazards related to the effect of the combination of the vessel's loading condition, the use of the crane and the possibility for the inspection hatch being left open. Lack of comprehensive ship-technical expertise among those carrying out the risk assessments may have contributed to this hazard not being identified.

The accident shows that the crew did not sufficiently understand the mechanisms that might occur when they tried to lift the bottom ring by the ships crane combined with an open inspection hatch. The company's specification on training of crew was insufficient. In addition, the varying competence by those who were to train others did not ensure that the employees had the necessary skills to carry out the vessel operation safely. In this regard, the accident investigation board issues a safety recommendation to the ship owner.

The crew had access to the vessel's stability documentation that is the basis for understanding how to use the crane in a safe manner. However, it requires significant ship-technical expertise to understand and benefit from the documentation concerning safe use of the cranes. The crew did not have the formal maritime education that might have provided this competence.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority is working on future certificate requirements for crew on cargo vessels less than 15 meters. Approved educational institutions will probably offer necessary courses and exams during 2019. In the follow-up of the relevant course providers, the Norwegian Maritime Authority should ensure that the issues raised in this investigation are included in the education.

 

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation MARINE no 2018/06T

During work at a fish farm north of Karmoy on12 May 2017, the crew on the workboat Maalfrid used the vessels crane while the inspection hatch over the starboard propeller was open. This led to the water flowing freely into the starboard hull and the vessel foundered. The combination of the company's lack of specification of the competence of their employees and the varying skills of those who undertook the training of the employees did not ensure that the crew had necessary skills to safely carry out the vessel operation.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends Norway Royal Salmon ASA to carry out a survey of the competence needed for their employees in vessel operations and take the necessary measures to meet the competence needs.

Location
Storøy, Nord-Karmøy, Rogaland
Occurrence date
12.05.2017
Accident category
Foundering
Area
Norwegian Territorial Waters
Name of vessel
Målfrid
Accident type
Loss of stability, Capsize
Vessel type
Special Purpose Ship
Register
The Norwegian Ship Register
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