The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has completed its examination of a lifeboat accident that had reportedly left two members of the crew injured in English Bay off Vancouver about two years ago. The men were inside the lifeboat on the cargo vessel named Blue Bosphorus for an exercise in 2020 (1 December). The lifeboat broke off the ship suddenly and plunged into the water.
For the crew members inside, the free fall was about 14 meters — almost three floors.
On Tuesday, the TSB mentioned that the lifeboat broke free as the slings, or the wires that hold a vessel in place, had malfunctioned.
During the exercise, the crew members “unconsciously” attached the ropes to the boat in a way that put too much pressure on the rear right corner per the report. The steel shrinks that hold part of the ropes had cracked and corroded with time and couldn’t withstand the pressure.
The sling that was at the back right broke first. The rest followed and released the lifeboat without prior notice.
The report mentioned that some crew members had been standing in the lifeboat and were not strapped to seats. One suffered serious injuries on his hand while the other hurt his legs.
Coast Guard officers, the Vancouver Port Authority, and the Vancouver Police Department Navy had responded to the Mayday call. Both the affected crew members were taken to Kitsilano’s Canadian Coast Guard base and moved to the hospital.
TSB mentioned the firm, Apollonia Lines SA, was up to date with regular maintenance routines to check the lifeboat and the launch setup. However, it did not tell the crew members to check the sling’s condition.
The firm has replaced the damaged equipment on Blue Bosphorus following the incident. It sent new safety requirements to its ships related to inspection of lifeboats, associated equipment, and lifeboat drills.
References: CTV News, CBC, MSN