An accident report published in November 2016 highlighted the dangers of vessels with open sterns after a seafarer was killed by cargo moved by waves breaking onto an OSV’s deck. It has led to work by a number of operators to develop a device to reduce such risks in the future.
The accident happened in the early hours of 14 July 2015 onboard the OSV Skandi Pacific, operated by Norway’s DOF Group. It was loading cargo containers from the semi-submersible oil rig Atwood Osprey at its offshore location, about 90 miles north-west off Dampier when two large waves came over Skandi Pacific’s open stern, shifting some unsecured containers and crushing one of the crew against other items in the deck.
In its incident report, the Australia Transport Safety Board (ATSB) raised concerns about the operator’s cargo handling and cargo securing procedures but also noted that Skandi Pacific’s managers “had not adequately assessed the risks associated with working on the aft deck of vessels with open sterns”.
As a result, the ATSB issued a safety advisory notice to highlight the risks posed by open stern vessels. It advises masters, owners and operators of all offshore support vessels “to ensure that the risks associated with working on the aft deck of vessels with open sterns are adequately assessed”.
In response to the report, Skandi Pacific’s managers took action to avoid a similar accident, which the ATSB said “adequately addressed the safety issues related to cargo handling/securing in adverse weather”.
• Read the ATSB accident report and safety advisory via http://bit.ly/OSJ-SkanPac