Lessons Learned: Swinging Load After Loss Of Position


IMCA in its Safety Events reports of a swinging load incident after loss of position.

What happened

During backloading of an empty refrigerated container to a Pipe Supply Vessel (PSV), adverse weather conditions, combined with technical issues and the effect of high thrust wash, resulted in a loss of position of the PSV and an uncontrolled swinging load. There was no damage to equipment and no-one was harmed.

What went wrong

  • Sudden gusts of wind of around 40 knots created high external forces, which resulted in an increased thruster wash towards the PSV, which caused the PSV to lose position;
  • The PSV’s azimuth thruster lost its running DP signal, contributing to the loss of position;
  • The PSV was operating outside its Activity Specific Operation Guidelines (ASOG);
  • The operational limits of PSVs operating alongside were not considered in the Activity Specific Operation Guidelines (ASOG);
  • No-one stopped the job: the operation wasn’t stopped despite alarms indicating the PSV was outside defined operational limits.

Lessons to learn

  • Review any (project specific) ASOG to include vessel to vessel operations and the effect that thruster wash can have on vessels alongside;
  • Review and update procedures for the lifting of cargo to/from PSVs to reflect the potential for loss of position;
  • Ensure personnel responsible for DP operations review and consider the requirements of the ASOGs and document their review process;
  • Planning, risk assessing and adhering to operational guidelines and limits is crucial to ensuring safe cargo transfer operations.

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Source: IMCA