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Old 22 March 2006, 17:28   #1
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MAIB report for RIB "Big Yellow"

MAIB report for RIB "Big Yellow" will available on the MAIB website on Friday 24th at 10:00am.


However I stumbled upon the link for the PDF whilst looking at the MAIB public website, here’s a run down from the reports synopsis:



During the early afternoon of 26 August 2005, an FRM 900, 9.1 metre RIB was conducting a high speed, thrill ride in the vicinity of St Ives Bay in Cornwall. There were 12 passengers onboard, 6 of whom were children. As the RIB headed back towards the harbour, it came to an abrupt stop as the forward section of the hull split open, immediately flooding the boat. The front bench seat was torn from its deck mountings, throwing two of the children into the water. All were rescued and none suffered serious injury.



Both the RIB and operating company were known as Big Yellow. The company had been operating from St Ives harbour since acquiring the RIB in June 2005. The company advertised its trips as the “Ultimate RIB Ride” and passengers expected an exciting, high speed experience.

Earlier in the morning of 26 August, the RIB had undertaken one uneventful trip. At 1215 the skipper’s fiancée gave a rudimentary safety briefing to the next group of waiting passengers. Once embarked, the skipper advised his passengers to raise a hand should they have any difficulties during the trip.

The RIB left the West Pier in St Ives harbour at 1230 and headed towards Carbis Bay.



The weather conditions were good and there was about a 0.5 metre swell running. The skipper conducted a number of high speed manoeuvres before heading towards St Ives Head and on to Porthmeor Beach. Once around St Ives Head, the RIB passed the single handed fishing vessel Elisha. By now, the swell had increased to between 1 and 1.5 metres, and the RIB’s speed was about 25 knots. The passengers were being bumped about in their bench seats, but none raised a hand to indicate concern.



After manoeuvring off Porthmeor Beach, the skipper reversed his course into the now, mainly following sea. Soon after, the RIB stuffed into a trough. The skipper felt something unusual in the RIB’s handling, the deck heaved slightly, there was a loud crack and the forward part of the hull momentarily adopted an angle of about 45 degrees from the horizontal. The front bench seat was torn from its deck mountings, plunging two children into the water. They were pulled back onboard soon after. The skipper rushed forward, heaved the two anchors and liferaft into the water and then set about accounting for his passengers.



Fortunately, the skipper of the fishing vessel Elisha saw what had happened and made his way towards the RIB. At the same time, the watchman in National Coastwatch Institution’s lookout at St Ives Head also saw the accident, and alerted the emergency services. The lifeguards at Portmeor Beach also saw the accident, and immediately sent two lifeguards, on a jetski, to provide assistance. Elisha and the jetski evacuated most of the passengers, with the remaining being rescued by the St Ives ILB. The St

Ives ALB and CG rescue helicopter were also despatched to the scene. The ALB towed the RIB into St Ives harbour, where it was met by the local police, harbourmaster and an MCA representative.



The post accident survey identified catastrophic GRP hull damage. The hull was split from the stem, down both port and starboard sides for about half the RIB’s length. It was also found that there was no longitudinal hull stiffening, the transverse framing was very flimsy, and its glass reinforced fibre encapsulation appeared to be poorly bonded to the hull.



The RIB, one of 13 built in the FRM 900 class, was manufactured in May 2004, nominally in accordance with the EU’s Recreational Craft Directive standards. Before fitting out, it was subjected to the MCA’s Yellow Code (Safety of Commercial Motor Vessel – Code of Practice) compliance examination by an authorised surveyor/examiner of MECAL Ltd, which is one of MCA’s Certifying Authorities. In June 2005, the boat was once again examined for Code compliance as part of the change of ownership process.

During the investigation, it was found that the boat building company’s RCD documentation, tests and records were not RCD compliant, and that there were no calculations or professional design input to support the boat’s build process or structural strength.



A number of anomalies with respect to the RIB’s Yellow Code examinations were also identified. The most important being that structural strength of the RIB was assumed to be compliant because it had apparently been built to the required RCD standard. In fact, this was not the case.



To assist in establishing the cause of the accident, stress calculations and laboratory testing of hull samples were conducted, and the services of a specialist GRP surveyor sought. The investigation determined that the cause of failure was due to the RIB’s light construction and inadequate hull stiffening to cope with the normal in service forces.



The investigation also found that the skipper lacked some of the necessary qualifications and endorsements, and that the harbourmaster was unaware of the qualifications required for the boat’s operation. Recommendations have been made to help prevent this type of accident re-occurring.

They focus on:

• The need to verify the condition of the other 12, FRM 900 RIBs.

• The boat-builder’s RCD compliance procedures.

• Clarification of the status of the RCD in relation to Code compliance examinations, especially those aspects relating to hull strength.

• Alerting local authorities on the importance of conducting RCD compliance checks on boat-builders, especially those that operate under self assessment rules.

• Advice to harbourmasters and boat operators on the qualifications required for small vessel commercial activities, and the need for risk assessments to have been undertaken on the vessel’s intended operation.




The full report which is well worth a read can be downloaded from here:

Here




Some photos below of the damage to "Big Yellow", which I took not long after the incident..


Shaggy
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Old 22 March 2006, 17:40   #2
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Thanks for that - makes very interesting reading. Looks like a nail in the coffin for Ferryman Ribs.
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Old 22 March 2006, 17:54   #3
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Funny that MECAL are mentioned in this.

I have had one of their surveyors involved in the certification of my Blyhe cat for the last 4-5 years.

The survey done in 2004, with monies paid, still has not resulted in a certificate being issued.

Despite it conforming,

A good friend of mine has had the same surveyor and, has had to threaten court action.

Still on going
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Old 22 March 2006, 18:09   #4
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Thanks Shaggy. Very interesting reading!

John
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Old 22 March 2006, 18:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
Looks like a nail in the coffin for Ferryman Ribs.
A nail maybe, but probably not the final one judging by this:

4.3 FERRYMAN BOATS LTD
Ferryman Boats Ltd has:
• Carried out a limited external hull survey of 8 FRM 900 RIBs which have
been reported as defect free. The builder has also advised all FRM 900
owners to examine their RIBs for hull or deck defects.
• Employed the services of a professional naval architect who has developed
a new internal stiffening arrangement supported by calculations.

SECTION 5 - RECOMMENDATIONS
Ferryman Boats Ltd is recommended to:
2006/149 Completely review its manufacturing procedures, testing and recording methods to ensure complete RCD compliance.


John
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Old 22 March 2006, 18:21   #6
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Glad to see it - let's face it - most RIBs are a cottage industry and I doubt if many have been near a "proper" design process.

Having said that some of the old sailing boats are far more likely to survive a storm than some of the latest CAD composite things - all you seem to hear about are keels dropping off and masts breaking!!!
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Old 22 March 2006, 18:38   #7
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That report seems fair and just. Which is alot more than can be said about the news reports of the incident at the time that claimed that an object had been hit - when it was blatently obvious to all fo us that there was no impact point.

Defective boat : yes - but the helsman should not have been putting a group of paying customers (including children) in a situation where stuffing the bow was even remotely possilbe.
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Old 22 March 2006, 19:45   #8
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I would question the build quality of other boats by this manufacturer of the same model, likelihood is that all are built to similar standard unfortunately.
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Old 23 March 2006, 01:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roycruse
That report seems fair and just. Which is alot more than can be said about the news reports of the incident at the time that claimed that an object had been hit - when it was blatently obvious to all fo us that there was no impact point.

Defective boat : yes - but the helsman should not have been putting a group of paying customers (including children) in a situation where stuffing the bow was even remotely possilbe.
Unusually, I find myself in agreement with you Roy!

There is an awful lot more safety built in to a ride at Alton Towers than on a RIB ride. When you advertise your service as the Ultimate Rib Ride....well that Kinda tempts providence!

Although I have a lot of sympathy for the Skipper as the boat should have been more than capable of surviving a stuff or in fact striking a log in the water. Good to see the safety briefing was being conducted and that help was on hand

I like passengers to be forard of the coxwain on a charter boat but I am not sure about bench seats in that position, I think it might be bad for the back.

Re the stiffening I have long believed that every new boat should be accompanied by a CD ROM with Piccies of the various stages of the build process, A GRP deck can hide a multitude of sins. e.g looking at the photos published by Steve the boat and Pressman of their build processes is very reassuring....We have also had pictures on this Forum proudly displaying the Falcon build process.....which certainly weren't reassuring.

Re cottage industry you can be small and do it right or you can be big and do it wrong. at the end of the day do it right or don't do it.

while we are on the Subject, and this isn't aimed at Big yellows skipper, I really have a problem with the fact that you can walk into a powerboat school an in the course of a week ( with maybe 16 hours boat time ) walk out with a commercial endorsement. I really feel there should be some form of apprentiship before people lives are put in the hands of a boat skipper.
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Old 23 March 2006, 02:27   #10
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Shaggy, that makes very interesting reading!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave
We have also had pictures on this Forum proudly displaying the Falcon build process.....which certainly weren't reassuring.
I thought that against a Ferryman, the Falcon actually starts to look like class cutting edge construction! OK, maybe not!
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