A lack of safety instructions has led to a ferry losing control at sea and crashing into rocks and pontoons, an investigation has found.
The Caledonian MacBrayne’s MV Hebrides was damaged on September 25 last year, after an engineer fitted a part without instructions, leading to a mechanical failure.
‘Loss of control’
A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has found the passenger-carrying vessel had to be grounded as it approached Lochmaddy on North Uist.
Investigators determined Rolls-Royce Marine (RRM) had failed to provide manufacturer’s service instructions to an operative who was carrying out the repair to the ship’s propulsion control system, made by RRM.
None of the 32 crew or 45 passengers were injured in the incident, however, damage was caused to the vessel which required it be grounded.
The MAIB report said: “The absence of service instructions for the actuator’s inspection and maintenance that were available from its manufacturer was pivotal to the failure.”
Investigators are recommending Rolls-Royce Marine issue manufacturer’s service instructions with systems engineering manuals to all vessels using RRM parts.
A Rolls-Royce spokesman says the firm has noted the recommendations.
Investigators also found a response to the crash was “uncoordinated”, despite being well-intended.
The MAIB suggests the crew was insufficiently prepared to effectively deal with the loss of control that caused passenger ferry Hebrides to crash into mooring pontoons.
CalMac Ferries Ltd, the owner of the Hebrides’ vessel, have been advised to properly document and process system upgrades and ensure crews are properly trained to respond to safety failures.
A CalMac spokesman says the MAIB’s report “largely confirms” the findings of its own investigation into the incident.
He added: “Since the grounding in September last year we have put in place a number of processes to mitigate the issues raised and will continue to monitor these areas to ensure our procedures meet the highest possible standards and give our customers assurance that we take their safety very seriously.”
Date Published: October 4, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown