A photo from the released safety report showing the Queen of Cumberland’s davit winching system. (From the Transportation Safety Board of Canada report M18P0087)

Safety report released in 2018 drill that left two BC Ferries workers injured

Transportation Safety Board releases report on ferry safety drill that turned into real-life rescue

A “man overboard” safety drill that ironically resulted in two BC Ferries employees injured and in the sea for real was the subject of a released safety report, Monday.

On April 18, 2018, the Queen of Cumberland ferry was in Swartz Bay with 10 crew members aboard, including the senior master and senior chief engineer. They were there as part of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) surveyors’ annual inspection to see if the ship should have its safety inspection certificate renewed.

ALSO READ: Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

As part of a rescue drill, simulating a “man overboard” scenario, a rescue boat was lowered into the water and performed a mock rescue. At approximately 12:49 p.m., once it was back alongside the ship, the boat was hoisted into the air when a crew member noticed a hook was fastened incorrectly to the bridle on the davit lifting equipment. The boat was lowered slowly into the water and the equipment rectified. However, on the second attempt at hoisting the boat into the air, the lifting cable parted causing the boat to plummet 11 metres, from Deck 5, into the water. Two crew members on the boat were injured, one seriously. Three life rings were thrown into the water and a rescue boat from the Skeena Queen was scrambled. The crew members were tended to by BC Ferries and BC Ambulance paramedics before being taken to hospital.

The rescue boat that fell suffered damage to its acrylic wind screen. Additionally, the davit sustained damage to the cable keeper and the sheave flange on one side.

ALSO READ: Central Saanich police see spike in suspicious circumstance calls

In the Marine Transportation Safety Investigation Report, inspectors found, “that the rescue boat painter (rope) was not secured with sufficient working length, thus exerting a force on the rescue boat and cable as it was being raised. The resulting side load caused the hoist cable to get pinched and break, resulting in the boat falling into the water along with the two crew members.”

The Queen of Cumberland was upgraded in 2016 and the rescue davit was changed. Since then, it was found that the davit’s limit switch had been rigged incorrectly and this error had not been identified in BC Ferries inspections in the time that followed. The report notes that “corresponding updates to operation and maintenance procedures were not made and that, although BC Ferries identified some of the missing updates, others went unidentified and unresolved.”

The authors of the report say that if equipment changes, training and maintenance programs aboard ships are not managed effectively, accidents can occur.

ALSO READ: Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

On Aug. 31, 2018, BC Ferries suffered another incident with a rescue boat on board the Spirit of Vancouver Island. As a result, the company reinstated an “Emergency Use Only” restriction for all davits and rescue/work boat combinations. Now, no employees are allowed to be in boats when they are lowered or raised, unless in an emergency.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bc ferry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island All Candidates Meeting scheduled virtually for Oct. 14

‘our local candidates for the B.C. Provincial Election will be joining us’

Abandoned Neucel mill in Port Alice to cost at least $17 million to decommission

Removing hazardous waste and de-risking the site ratchet up bill to taxpayers

Growing food sovereignty at Klemtu

Greenhouse and grow boxes help create circular food economy for Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Gratitude is a great thing, what are you grateful for?

‘I want to say a heartfelt thanks to Steven Cahill for all his hard work over the years’

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read