2nd Feb. 06

The following incident regarding equipment failure took place in a vessel where I served last.

The vessel was a container carrier with two onboard gantries for cargo operation. The Gantry gear was a similar one which you may find in most container terminals.

Following people were involved in the operation of the crane 1) Bosun on main deck giving instructions 2) Cadet who was on top of the gantry inside the operating cabin, 3) One O.S who was also on the main deck opposite to Bosun (on the other side).

The operation involved lifting one of the hatch pontoons to facilitate cargo discharge from that hatch with shore gantries. The crane operator (cadet) was trying to position the spreader, so as to lift the pontoons. During this operation, the extension boom of the gantry was in stowed condition.

The cadet was looking only at the Bosun without giving any consideration to the central car. By now the central pulley frame had already reached its limit on that side, straining the steel cable to the maximum extent.

The cable snapped resulting in the transfer of the entire load on the electrical cables. All the cables parted immediately, cutting off the electrical power supply. Following are the apparent causes for the failure:-

1) Inexperienced operator (Cadet)
2) By- passing of all procedural safety
3) No proper communication between different parties.