Must read – gCaptain Safety Newsletter

 gCaptain’s latest Safety Newsletter is now available and, as usual, a must-read, items include EPIRB failures, MAC’s latest lifeboat story, and a few loose nuts.

Right click here and  go to the site at You can subscribe to the newsletter and get it delivered. Good idea.


5 Responses to Must read – gCaptain Safety Newsletter

  1. Dear mr Couttie,

    due to the nature of our work, service, repair, testing and recertification of lifeboats and launching appliances , and due to the fact that our engineers have been trained at most manufacturer’s premises, and thus we are aware of many of the accidents as mentioned in the MAIB reports and others, we would like to give some inside info;
    On the Valparaiso Star Pesbo was definitely not allowed by the owner to inspect the lifeboat after the accident. Neither for that matter, were we. As you can see from the pictures, however, the release gear was heavily painted. In combination with the control cables being positioned right under the hook, paint will probably have leaked onto the cables, thus blocking them. We have read through most of the accident reports, and we have concluded that 99,9 % of the accidents results from lack of knowledge of the system, or poor or no maintenance having been carried out. The rest
    because of poor procedures for drills. Most accidents happen because of faulty resetting. Most seafarers engage the lifting rings in the hooks, and then reset with the system under tension, and then use force to reset, braking cables, using a pipe on the release handle, or equivalent. With japanese built boats, safety posters inside the boat explaining the system are in English and Japanese, which is of no use with Koreans and Chinese sailors. We inspect approximately 5 vessels per day, and have about 2/3 vessels per week were maintenance has been virtually lacking.
    The MSC 1206 rules are viewed by shipowners as exaggerated and a way to earn money, which is true. But it also enhances safety enormously, and if you want to do proper service, it requires huge investments in material and training. Besides, we do not hear Owners complain about service on liferafts every year, which, relatively speaking, is more expensive. I do believe seafarers are right in asking for one standard.
    But in Europe, see what happened to Microsoft. There is many good on-load gears in the market, especially the 2nd and 3d generation of hooks. But to date, still hooks are being approved that should never be approved. You are welcome to visit us and discuss these matters with us.

    Yours sincerely
    Larry Nederlof
    Willem Pot BV

  2. V Surchenko says:

    Oh Dear Larry. You really have missed the point with the requirements of MSC1206. You see, owners DO complain about the costs of servicng their liferafts, just as they do for the servicing of lifeboats too. The fact is, lifeboats, liferafts and other essential items of LSA only COST money – they never MAKE any money for owners or other responsible parties concerned with day to day vessel operations – that is apart from OEMs of such equipment.

    The general shipping community will never accept that only OEMs may work on lifeboats, for they see it as a clear case of the industry attempting to rake in as much cash as they can, as quickly as they can. One other aspect that must be considered is that liferafts are portable items of equipment, that, if needed, may be removed from a vessel and replaced with a temporary unit. This is obviously not the case with lifeboats of course.

    Finally, readers of this site should not be surprised at all that you have posted your comments and some may even agree with them – however, they should also be aware that the company you previously owned and now represent, the famous Willem Pot BV of Rotterdam, has sold their soul – to Schat Harding – the very organisation that is pushing MSC1206 and its mandatory aspects so hard.

  3. John says:

    I really need to get motivated and continue this newsletter!

  4. […] of IMO MSC1206 in the pur­chase by life­boat man­u­fac­turer Schat-Harding of Willem Pot (See Com­ments sec­tion), a Neth­er­lands com­pany which includes life­boat ser­vi­cing in its offer­ing. It is […]

  5. […] effects of IMO MSC1206 in the purchase by lifeboat manufacturer Schat-Harding of Willem Pot (See Comments section), a Netherlands company which includes lifeboat servicing in its offering. It is certainly cheaper […]

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