Crane crash mystery solved in two hours

Soon after starting a mission, a vessel’s crane collided with a parking cradle. The damage seemed to be minimal, but the cause of the crash was unknown, leaving the crew unsure whether or not it was safe to proceed. After calling MacGregor OnWatch, the vessel was cleared to carry on within two hours.

February 2012, Saturday, 16:00 (CET): North Sea off Stavanger

At the outset of a mission, a vessel’s AHC crane knuckle jib moved unexpectedly and collided with the parking cradle. This was initially assumed to be due to a system error.

Although only minor damage could be seen externally, it was decided to abort the operation as the problem could potentially happen again during a critical operation.

17:15 The MacGregor OnWatch team was contacted by phone. The software engineer on duty decided to go online and download movement and joystick positions during the minutes just before the accident to recap what happened.

18:00 After downloading and analysing all logs, it became clear that the jib movement was caused by the operator making incorrect joystick movements. With the operator error confirmed, the chief was assured that there was no technical error.

19:00 The vessel was cleared to continue its mission.

The issue was resolved within two hours of contacting MacGregor OnWatch. Without the proper support and satellite link, the mission would have been aborted as the ship waited in port for an engineer. This would have resulted in a delay of at least three days – with high penalties a result.

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