NTSB: Offshore Louisiana $750K Liftboat Loss Caused by Faulty Preload Procedure

The overturning of a liftboat servicing an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast was the result of an inadequate preload procedure, according to federal report.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Nov. 17 issued its report on the Sept. 8, 2019, overturning of the liftboat Kristin Faye in the Gulf of Mexico, in which one crew member was injured while evacuating the vessel. The other two crew members evacuated safely.

The vessel was declared a constructive total loss at a cost of $750,000.

The accident resulted in the discharge of about 120 gallons of diesel fuel, the NTSB said.

The accident occurred while the self-propelled, self-elevating, liftboat Kristin Faye was elevated above the sea surface to provide service to an oil production platform in 35-feet of water about 18 miles east of Venice, Louisiana. When the captain raised one of the extending/telescoping boom cranes on the vessel, the liftboat began tilting to port and overturned in less than one minute.

The liftboat Kristin Faye is seen in an elevated position alongside Platform AQ in this photo taken before the accident. Photo by: Sanare Energy Partners LLC

The NTSB’s Marine Accident Brief 20/36 states that once the 22,500-pound port crane boom was moved from its cradle (horizontal position) to the vertical position, the boom’s center of gravity shifted about 17 feet. The company’s manual did not include guidance for changes in the position of the crane booms once the vessel was elevated.

Investigators determined the probable cause of the accident was the inadequate preload procedure that did not account for crane movements or the planned loads (weights) to be lifted.

The full Marine Accident Brief 20/36 is available online at https://go.usa.gov/x7yWh.

Source: NTSB