IMCA Safety Flash 15/09


Trapped Diver Umbilical Incident Resulting in Diver Fatality

A member has reported an incident where a trapped diver umbilical resulted in his death. During the surface supplied diver operation, the diver was deployed to the bottom (56m) to locate fixing points for davits which required him to travel along the pipeline and for the barge to be moved into position.

During the diving operation the barge moved astern. It is thought that this movement caused the diver’s umbilical to become snagged on an object on the seabed cutting off his gas supply. On the diver’s umbilical there were two ‘D’ rings – one at 39m (~130’) and one at 50m (165’). The 50m ‘D’ ring was attached to the bell lift wire controlling the maximum excursion of the diver; it was the 39m ‘D’ ring that became snagged on the seabed. The diver went on to bail out, reported that his umbilical was fouled and made his way back to the wet bell where he appeared to have been attempting to put the bell pneumo tube into his helmet when he was found by the standby diver who had been deployed from the surface. Both video and audio communications were lost soon after the diver reported his umbilical was fouled. Soon after the standby diver arrived at the wet bell attempts were made to recover it and the divers to the surface. As the wet bell was being recovered, since the diver’s umbilical was fouled on the seabed, he was dragged out of the wet bell. This occurred twice before the standby diver freed the trapped umbilical and eventually the diver was recovered to the surface but was pronounced dead by the doctor on board the vessel.

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Lost Time Injury: Gangway Deployment

A member has reported an incident in which a person suffered a broken leg during gangway deployment. Prior to arrival at the quayside, a vessel’s double sectioned gangway (see Figure 1) was lowered and extended, in readiness for use, in accordance with onboard procedures.

Approaching the quayside, the bridge was informed that berthing plans for the vessel had changed. The change of berth required the use of a different gangway and the bosun was instructed to recover the now partly deployed gangway. The bosun and an able seaman (AB) started work on this task but failed to follow established procedures.

The recovery procedure required the gangway to be initially lowered to allow tension to come off the lifting wires and at the same time allow the securing pins to be removed for stowing, before then raising the gangway back up to the stowed position.

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Helicopter Task Group Update: Briefing on S-92 Helicopter Fleet

The Helicopter Task Group has published the attached briefing concerning Sikorsky S-92 helicopters.

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Importance of Inspecting Fall Protection Equipment

IMCA has been made aware of a number of examples of fall protection equipment failing owing to poor or sub-standard equipment:

♦ Safety Alert 09-17 – Near Miss – New Fall Protection Equipment Failure – published by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) (attached), notes that a new ‘pass-through tie-off adapter’ was only hot-glued and did not have the required stitching.

♦ Whilst teaching a fall protection class an instructor found a new piece of fall protection equipment that was not properly sewn. This equipment was brand new, still in the bag and made by a reliable manufacturer. One of the lanyards was improperly sewn and the webbing could be pulled apart by hand.

♦ In another similar instance, it was discovered that the rivet from the secondary lock on the snap hook of a lanyard had become damaged and allowed the secondary lock to come free from the hook. The hook was not involved in a fall event.

Members are encouraged to re-emphasise to their personnel the importance of thorough inspection of all fall protection equipment before and after use.

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