This document was published on February 22nd, 2023, and is addressed to all owners, operators, masters, nautical inspectors, and recognized organizations.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator (the “Administrator”) has recently been notified of a marine casualty that occurred aboard an RMI-registered ship that resulted in the injury of two crewmembers.
During a planned drill, the ship’s rescue boat was being lowered to the water with two crewmembers aboard when the release hook support post failed.
The rescue boat and two crewmembers fell about 9 meters into the water. The two crewmembers were quickly recovered from the water and transported ashore for medical treatment.
Immediately prior to the incident, the rescue boat had been hoisted, swung over the side, and lowered several meters without anyone on board.
During the investigation, it was found that significant deterioration of the lower end of the support post for the release hook had occurred due to corrosion (see Figure 1).
The lower side of the release hook support post was below the deck and only visible following the removal of a portable fuel tank.
The Jiangyin Wolong model “JY40KR” rescue boat involved in this incident was manufactured in 2008.
No defects or issues were noted when the boat was tested in 2019 or in November 2022 during the last annual inspection.
The Administrator recommends that owners, operators, and Masters of RMI-registered vessels fitted with Jiangyin Wolong “JY40KR” rescue boats thoroughly inspect the release hook and entire support post, including mounting hardware, for signs of deterioration.
Additionally, the Administrator recommends that owners, operators, and Masters ensure monthly inspections of life-saving appliances including thorough inspections of lifting arrangements for all onboard lifeboats and rescue boats with specific emphasis on hidden or hard-to-access components.