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 drill that left two BC Ferries workers injured

Transportation Safety Board releases report on ferry safety drill that turned into real-life rescue

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 inspection 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 rescue 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 at hoisting the boat into the air, 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 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

Just Posted

Barry Marchi’s spirits high as treatment in Seattle continues

Barry Marchi’s spirits are high as he continues treatment in the United… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Wapiti Music Festival

With eyes to the stage and hands to the sky the crowd… Continue reading

New art gallery opens downtown Fernie

Two local artists, Tara Higgins and Kerri Holmes have joined forces to open H2 Studio Gallery

Search continues for new leads in Mt. Bisaro cave system

Cavers returning October, November to push new leads, extend Canada’s deepest cave near Fernie

Wildfire update in the Southeast Fire Centre

No fires currently pose a threat to structures or communities, says BC Wildfire Service

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read