A photo from the released safety report showing the Queen of Cumberland’s davit winching system. (From the Transportation Safety Board of Canada report M18P0087)

Safety report released in 2018 ‘man overboard’ drill that left two BC Ferries employees injured

Investigation report on ferry safety drill that turned into real-life rescue released

A “man overboard” safety drill that ironically resulted in two BC Ferries employees injured and in the sea for real was the subject of a released safety report, Monday.

On April 18, 2018, the Queen of Cumberland ferry was in Swartz Bay with 10 crew members aboard, including the senior master and senior chief engineer. They were there as part of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) surveyors’ annual review to see if the ship should have its safety inspection certificate renewed.

ALSO READ: Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

As part of a drill, simulating a “man overboard” scenario, a rescue boat was lowered into the water and performed a mock rescue. At approximately 12:49 p.m., once it was back alongside the ship, the boat was hoisted into the air when a crew member noticed a hook was fastened incorrectly to the bridle on the davit lifting equipment. The boat was lowered slowly into the water and the equipment rectified. However, on the second attempt, the lifting cable parted causing the boat to plummet 11 metres, from Deck 5, into the water. Two crew members on the boat were injured, one seriously. Three life rings were thrown into the water and a rescue boat from the Skeena Queen was scrambled. The crew members were tended to by BC Ferries staff and BC Ambulance paramedics before being taken to hospital.

The rescue boat that fell suffered damage to its acrylic wind screen. Additionally, the davit sustained damage to the cable keeper and the sheave flange on one side.

ALSO READ: Central Saanich police see spike in suspicious circumstance calls

In the Marine Transportation Safety Investigation Report, inspectors found, “that the rescue boat painter (rope) was not secured with sufficient working length, thus exerting a force on the rescue boat and cable as it was being raised. The resulting side load caused the hoist cable to get pinched and break, resulting in the boat falling into the water along with the two crew members.”

The Queen of Cumberland was upgraded in 2016 and the rescue davit was changed. Since then, it was found that the davit’s limit switch had been rigged incorrectly and this error had not been identified in BC Ferries inspections in the time that followed. The report notes that “corresponding updates to operation and maintenance procedures were not made and that, although BC Ferries identified some of the missing updates, others went unidentified and unresolved.”

The authors of the report say that if equipment changes, training and maintenance programs aboard ships are not managed effectively, accidents can occur.

ALSO READ: Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

On Aug. 31, 2018, BC Ferries suffered another incident with a rescue boat on board the Spirit of Vancouver Island. As a result, the company reinstated an “Emergency Use Only” restriction for all davits and rescue/work boat combinations. Now, no employees are allowed to be in boats when they are lowered or raised, unless in an emergency.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bc ferry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Police investigating alleged assault on Oak Bay Avenue

Staff at Oak Bay Home Hardware say one person was taken to hospital

Oak Bay neighbourhoods rocked by blasting activity

Oak Bay seeks new rock blasting bylaw regarding ‘continuous’ noise

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

VIDEO: Seal pup and mom play and ‘kiss’ in Oak Bay Marina

BRNKL seal cam captures harbour seal growing up in busy harbour

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read