Australia – lifeboat fatalities caused by severe corrosion

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a report MAIR 208 of its investigation into the deaths of two crewmen, and the injury of three more, during a lifeboat drill on a bulk carrier off Port Hedland, Western Australia on 7 October 2004.  

The lifeboat was being lowered when the aft on-load release hook failed, causing the lifeboat to unexpectedly fall 16 metres into the sea below.  

Investigation revealed that the lifeboat’s aft hook’s keel stays were severely corroded, allowing them to fail under a normal load. The ship’s maintenance and survey regime was determined to be deficient.

Contact: Fredrik Larsson