Commission report says no single factor led to Bourbon Dolphin tragedy

News - March 28, 2008

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The Commission that investigated the capsizing and sinking of Bourbon Dolphin last year blames 'no single factor' for the accident, according to a report published today by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

However, Aftenposten said the Commission strongly criticized the vessel's owner and the operator of the rig that the vessel was assisting.

Eight people were killed when the AHTS capsized about 75 nautical miles northwest of Scotland.

Bourbon Dolphin was owned by Bourbon Offshore Norway, a subsidiary of French firm Bourbon. It was assisting the drilling rig Transocean Rather when it capsized and later sank on April 12 last year.

Aftenposten said the Commission's report said a series of "unfortunate circumstances" were behind the accident, with many of them linked to Bourbon Offshore and Transocean.

According to Aftenposten, the report says Bourbon Offshore should have evaluated the Bourbon Dolphin's limits more carefully.

Nor did Bourbon Offshore make enough demands on the competence of its crew, said the Commission. Captain Oddne Remøy, for example, didn't get enough time from either the vessel’s owner or its operator to become sufficiently familiar with his crew and the vessel itself before they tried to move an anchor for Transocean Rather.

According to a BBC report, the Commission also said the vessel was not suitable for the anchor handling job it was performing.

The Commission's report also cites weaknesses in the vessel's design and failures in safety procedures by Bourbon, and on the rig.

BBC said the Commission of Inquiry also makes a number of recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future, including formal training for winch operators, a review of survival equipment and specific anchor handling procedures for every vessel. 

 

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