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

bc ferry

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

Just Posted

No charges to be laid against 22 pipeline protesters arrested on Wet’suwet’en territory

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Salvation Army celebrates National Doughnut Day with deliveries to front line COVID workers

National Doughnut Day pays tribute to the “Doughnut Lassies” of the First World War

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

Fibre installation for South Hazelton begins

Citywest says it will install cable in the summer and home installations in the fall

Annual bird count thrills organizer

Count took place over 48 hours

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read