Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB ) - Safety Digest 2/2004
Case 13 - Be Careful How You Rig Your Tricing Pendants
Lifeboat being released
lifeboat drill was being carried out on a cruise ship in port. The gripes were slipped and the
winch brake was released to begin the launch. As the davit arms swung out and the boat began to
lower, a tricing pendant at one end became caught beneath the suspension hook's balance weight. As
lowering continued, the tricing pendant tightened until it lifted the weight and opened the hook. The
fall released and the boat swung; it was left hanging by the other fall (see figure). Fortunately
no one was in the lifeboat at the time.
Gripe, Tricing pendant and Unguarded
suspension hook balance weight
1. Some lifeboats have
cheek plates fitted either side of the suspension hook balance weight to prevent anything becoming caught
underneath. However, this makes the weight more difficult to lift when the lifeboat needs to be
released when afloat. Lifeboats like the one involved in this accident, where the balance weight is
unguarded, must be prepared to prevent them being lifted inadvertently.
2. (Figure 2) shows a lifeboat rigged in such a way that this problem
could occur. When the gripe is removed, the tricing pendant will drop down under the suspension
hook balance weight. When the boat is lowered, the tricing pendant will tighten and lift the weight.
3. When the mate or other responsible officer does his rounds of the
lifeboats, he should check that tricing pendants are laid clear of unguarded suspension hook balance
4. If unguarded balance weights are fitted, they should be observed
while the lifeboat is being lowered, to ensure they are not lifted accidentally. If crew are in
the boat when this happens, a serious accident could result!