Lessons Learned: Vessel Damaged In Contact With Platform


  • IMCA reports of an incident where in a vessel was damaged in contact with platform.
  • The vessel’s port inner main engine got stuck in forward movement as she approached the platform.
  • The investigation discovered that there was a failure of the pitch control propulsion actuator.

IMCA reports of an incident where in a vessel was damaged in contact with platform.

The Incident

A CTV (crew transfer vessel) collided with a fixed platform when one of the engines failed. The CTV was approaching a platform to transfer crew onto it, when there was a failure of control of the port inner main engine, causing it to continue to drive the vessel forward. Whilst control of the engine and hence the vessel was regained before coming into contact with the platform, collision could not be avoided, and there was damage to the starboard side of the wheelhouse. No-one was injured.

What went right

  • The vessel crew completed their routine checks and tests prior to operations in the 500 meter zone;
  • The Master made several immediate attempts to regain control including an emergency stop of the port inner main engine;

What went wrong

The vessel’s port inner main engine got stuck in forward movement as she approached the platform.

What was the cause

  • IMCA member’s investigation discovered that there was a failure of the pitch control propulsion actuator. The response to regain control and time taken to do so, was insufficient to avoid contact;
  • The actuator froze because of worn-out carbon brushes in a motor. There were no OEM or company planned maintenance system recommendations for actuator electric motor maintenance.


  • Checked across fleet for similar actuator motors, then checked carbon brushes within these motors;
  • Amended Planned Maintenance System on relevant vessels to include actuator electric motor maintenance program as specified by manufacturer;
  • A reiteration of the importance of Loss of Power drills.

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Source: IMCA


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