Case Study: Inadequate Preload Procedure Caused Vessel To Overturn

The National Transportation Safety Board issued Marine Accident Brief 20/36 Tuesday for its investigation of Sept. 8, 2019, overturning of the liftboat Kristin Faye in the Gulf of Mexico.

One crewmember was injured evacuating the vessel. The accident resulted in the discharge of about 120 gallons of diesel fuel. The vessel was declared a constructive total loss.

Inadequate Preload Procedure Caused Vessel to Overturn
Image Credits: Sanare Energy Partners, LLC

The accident occurred while the self-propelled, self-elevating, liftboat Kristin Faye was elevated above the sea surface to provide service to an oil production platform in 35-feet of water about eight miles east of Venice, Louisiana. When the captain raised one of the extending/telescoping boom cranes on the vessel, the liftboat began tilting to port and overturned in less than one minute.

Marine Accident Brief 20/36 notes once the 22,500-pound port crane boom was moved from its cradle (horizontal position) to the vertical position, the boom’s center of gravity shifted about 17 feet.

Inadequate Preload Procedure Caused Vessel to Overturn
Image Credits: Sanare Energy Partners, LLC

The company’s manual did not include guidance for changes in the position of the crane booms once the vessel was elevated. Investigators determined the probable cause of the accident was the inadequate preload procedure that did not account for crane movements or the planned loads (weights) to be lifted.

The full Marine Accident Brief 20/36 is available online at

Press Release | NTSB

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