HSE report takes Deep Sea Supply to task following collisionNews // June 22, 2015
The operators of a platform supply vessel (PSV) that struck a platform in the North Sea put workers at risk by not operating safely in an exclusion zone, a report published by the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has said.
The incident happened at Apache's Forties Echo platform in the Forties oil field in March, and Sea Falcon's owner, Deep Sea Supply, was issued with an improvement notice as a result.
The HSE said Sea Falcon entered the 500m zone at what it described as 'excessive speed' (that is, at in excess of 4 knots when guidelines recommended a speed of not more than 0.5 knots). The ship hit the platform, causing significant damage to both the topside and the ship itself.
In the Improvement Notice, the HSE said:
"On the platform supply vessel Sea Falcon you are failing to ensure the health and safety of employees and others not in your employment from the risk of injury arising from collision between the vessel and fixed offshore installations in that a safe system of work for vessel movements and operations within the 500m safety zone around the installation is not being implemented to ensure that the risk of collision between the vessel and fixed installations is reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable.
"On 16 March 2015 the PSV Sea Falcon entered the 500m safety zone around the Forties Echo offshore installation, operated by Apache North Sea Limited, located in Licence Blocks 21/10 and 22/6a of the UKCS, traversed the 500m zone at excessive speed (peaks above 4 knots), on a heading directly towards the installation, and did not adopt a final 'set up’ position to ensure station keeping arrangements were stable before moving alongside the installation to commence working operations, contrary to your own company marine operations procedures, Apache North Sea Limited’s marine operations procedures and recognised marine industry practice and guidelines (which advise a speed of up to 0.5 knots and adoption of a final 'set up’ position before moving alongside offshore installations to begin working). PSV Sea Falcon collided with the installation causing significant topside damage to the installation and the vessel."