MAIB Safety Bulletin for HSC & RIB Operators
A collision occurred in Southampton Water UK between the high speed passenger craft 'Seadogz' and a navigation buoy with loss of 1 life.
A Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) recommendation (2021/109M) has been made to all UK operators of small commercial high speed craft such as Rigid Inflatable Boats, sports boats and other vessels engaged in carrying passengers on trips and charters.
The recommendation is to review the risk assessments for the operation of their vessels and take measures, as appropriate, to ensure that they comply with the safe working practices and standards contained in the Passenger Safety on Small Commercial High Speed Craft & Experience Rides Voluntary Code of Practice.
Where an operator cannot comply with the provisions outlined in the Code of Practice, steps should be taken to mitigate against risk, and details of those measures included in the relevant operating procedures.
Collision between the high speed passenger craft Seadogz and navigation buoy
On 22 August 2020 at 1011, the commercially operated high speed passenger craft Seadogz collided with the North-West Netley buoy in Southampton Water at a speed of 38.4kts. On board was the skipper and 11 passengers. During the collision two passengers were ejected overboard into the water where their lifejackets inflated. The remaining passengers and the skipper suffered varying degrees of impact injuries. A 15-year-old girl, was fatally injured when she was thrown against the handrail directly in front of her bench seat.
Urgent safety considerations
the skipper was operating single-handedly, at high speed and did not see the navigation buoy, which was directly ahead for 10 seconds before impact
during the trip the passengers became accustomed to passing close by large navigation buoys at speed and were therefore unconcerned at the crafts approach to the buoy and did not attempt to alert the skipper
high speed figure of eight turns completed during the trip, increased the risk of hooking or spinning out
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