Emergency escape to life raft - life raft painter line and personal descent devise obstruction
Location: OFFSHORE : Floating Production Storage Unit
Incident Date: --- Time: ---
Type of Activity: Transport - Water, incl. marine activity
Type of Injury: Water related, drowning
The issue relates to life rafts provided as part of an escape to sea system, which includes the provision of personal descent devices as a means of reaching the raft whilst minimising the likelihood of personnel entering the sea.
A painter line attaches the life raft to the installation and, when pulled, activates the inflation. It also acts as a guideline to deliver people safely to the floating life raft when deployed.
Only a very small section of painter line (on average approximately 0.5m) protrudes from the life raft before opening and, once the life raft is deployed, the painter line extends to its full length (this varies depending on the raft's specification and the height of deck upon which it is installed).
An extension line is normally attached from the painter line of the life raft to a secure point on the installation so that the life raft remains connected to the installation after launched.
What Went Wrong?:
The knot connecting the lines can become an obstruction. The descent device carabiner could be stopped by the knot, leaving the individual suspended and preventing escape.
When the life raft is deployed, the descender will not be able to follow the painter line all the way to the raft.
Corrective Actions and Recommendations:
This alert was oriinally published by Step Change in Safety http://www.stepchangeinsafety.net. #playyourpart
Alerts on similar topics can be found at:
Safety Alert number: 296
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