Check Gripe Cams and Restore Flat Face Configuration

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The incident:

During lowering of a lifeboat, the davits initially failed to lower due to an indentation in the face of the gripe cam on the forward arm.

To complete the lowering the fall wires were tensioned using the manual hoisting handle. This released the contact between the davit arm pin and the gripe cam, allowing the gripe cam to be manually moved clear. The lifeboat was then lowered as normal.

Cause:

The cause of the initial failure was identified as an indentation in the face of the gripe cam on the forward davit arm. This had resulted in the davit arm pin being engaged in the cam rather than moving the cam arm away as the davit lowered.

The gripe cam face had suffered wear due to contact from the davit pin, resulting in an indent being created on the cam face. The cam consequently acted as a hook, preventing the davit arm to move from the stowed position.

The wear had not been identified during an earlier weekly lifeboat lowering exercises.

Recommendations:

  • Check the condition of all other gripe cams and restore flat face configuration where required.

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Source: Marine Safety Forum

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