Schat Harding Lifeboats – Shell Perdido Incident Photo Of The Week

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January 4, 2010


Lifeboat On Load Release Failure

Damaged schat harding Lifeboat After Crash

Rig Lifeboat in Shipyard - Damaged

The attached photos of a Schat Harding Lifeboat came to us via the gCaptain tip Line ([email protected]) and show extensive damage to a lifeboat. The tip came with the following unconfirmed comment:

Our vessel had a serious non-HSE incident when testing our Schat Harding lifeboats. No one was hurt, nor was it a near miss. As part of QH we do a deployment test of each lifeboat with it filled with a water bag so that it is at 1.1 rated load. After 2 successful tests earlier, we had a failure of the 3rd boat when cracks were found in the boat after the test. The 4th boat failed catastrophically during the test when the attachments ripped loose from the boat and it fell into the water after it was lowered and raised part way.

The implications can be serious. We are now limited on how many people can be on the spar after QH, and the USCG, and ourselves, may also invalidate the viability of the first 2 boats. We have delayed manning up the flotel, planned for this past weekend. We have already met with the LB company several times. We are looking for replacement boats and possibly other suppliers (would require redesign of deployment systems). We are working with USCG and LB company to investigate and determine root causes. We have mobilized a number of our onshore team, including SFE, to work the problem. I think things are being handled well by the team. It is too early to speculate on possible outcomes and we’ll keep you posted as planning comes together.

It should be noted that during this incident there were no water bag injuries.!!


gCaptain was contacted directly by representatives of Schat Harding who inform us that investigating incidents of this type are a top priority for the company.

This is the first time a company has contacted us to proactively address the concerns of this website as they relate to an incident photo of the week, which is encouraging indeed. Please find below the company’s official response which they have asked us to publish on this post:

Schat-Harding has responded to these photos and informed us that the incident shown took place during testing of Schat-Harding KISS system boats and davits on the Shell Perdido platform in April 2009.

A full investigation into the incident jointly with Shell and the USCG has shown that this was a one off incident caused by a combination of negative factors which compounded each other to lead to a system failure. This is a stand alone incident linked directly to the test circumstances for the Perdido project. The negative effects which affected the Perdido test were :
• The test load was higher than specified
• Damaging high G-force due to the abrupt stops
• Production deviation with lower wall thickness in canopy than specified

In agreement with the USCG Schat-Harding has put in place actions to change winch throttling speeds and strengthen the boat canopy, and to address the use of waterbags in testing, which was a contributory factor in this case.

Eight similar but slightly different KISS systems are in service in US waters, Ocean Endeavour – 4 boats, delivered with ABS certificate in December 2005 and Ocean Monarch – 4 boats, delivered also with ABS certificate in December 2006. These boats passed the Abrupt Sop test which led to the incident during Perdido testing. They have now been re-examined and winch throttling speed adjusted to reduce loads on the boats during abrupt stops.

No other systems are affected by the incident.

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