The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry has released a report on the investigation into the accidental death of a crewman in the Gulf of St. Tropez in July of 2010. The crewman was killed during the launching of a personal watercraft. The report states:
“A large yacht [Vinydrea] was launching Personal Water Craft (PWC) while at anchor in the South of France. When the first PWC had been lowered to main deck height, a deckhand boarded the craft to ride with it to the water, in order to release the lifting slings and bring the PWC round to the stern of the yacht.
“The deckhand was standing on the PWC and maintaining balance by holding the synthetic crane cable. With the PWC suspended approximately two meters (about 6 feet 5 inches) above the water, lowering was resumed. Almost immediately, the inboard lifting slings failed and the PWC dropped to the water. Without the support of the PWC, the deckhand was unable to hold onto the crane cable and fell onto the PWC in the water. The deckhand landed face down on the PWC and, although remaining conscious throughout, sustained serious chest injuries. The deckhand was removed from the water and transferred to a local hospital. Sadly, he subsequently died from his injuries.
“Upon inspection, the steel lifting slings in use were found to have failed in way of the crimped eye connection to the spreader beam. The slings were found to be heavily corroded and this corrosion had not been identified by the on board maintenance and inspection regime. Further, the history and origin of the lifting sling was not readily apparent. It was stated that they were supplied with the PWC, but the model and manufacturer of the sling could not be identified and no manufacturer’s documentation of certification could be located.”
For the full investigation report and safety recommendations, visit cishipping.com and search “Vinydrea.”