BIMCO has developed new guidance for seafarers on the safe launching and recovery of lifeboats using fall preventer devices (FPDs), to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries.
Lifeboat accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries are all too frequent, despite efforts in recent years to reduce them. Most of the accidents happen in boats using conventional davits and on-load release systems. However, recently other parts of the suspension and lifting systems have been identified as points of failure too, particularly the wire rope falls on larger lifeboats.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommends the use of FPDs because so many recent lifeboat and rescue boat accidents have resulted in fatalities and injuries to seafarers. This constitutes an unacceptable risk and the use of FPDs is intended to be an interim measure to reduce this risk while new, safe IMO approved systems are developed. However, this process will take some years, and so FPDs are recommended for the intervening time until approval is secured.
The new guidance has been produced in a handy illustrated pamphlet titled: ‘Avoid Lifeboat Accidents’. It can be downloaded free of charge.
Aron Sorensen, Head of Maritime Technology & Regulation at BIMCO said: