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NOAA Small Boat Accident Reports

2017
Nov 07
NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
SMALL BOAT INCIDENTS
updated 11-September-2019
Incident Date Type Activity Cause (No injuries) Nature of Injury DESCRIPTION
 

8/2/2019

 

Field Research

N/A

 
 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

Removing real-time acoustic receivers on bridge for cleaning, forearm got pinched between the boat and the bridge pilling when the boat was pushed towards the pier on a strong incoming tide. Bumpers which were used for protection failed due to the direction of the incoming swell.

 

8/1/2019

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

Grounding

 

N/A

 

propeller struck unseen object somewhere in the vicinity of Galveston Bay. Nobody noticed any degradation in engine or steeting performance. Uniform damage across all 4 prob blades was discovered at conclusion of operations during vessel tie up/washdown.

 

7/18/2019

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

Equipment Failure

 

N/A

 

While transport of a small boat the trailer wheel sheared off the axle frame. No injuries reported.

 

7/15/2019

 

Field Research

 

Equipment Failure

 

N/A

 

bilge monitoring system sounded a "high water" alarm. Upon inspection, the engine compartment was found to be flooded due to a displaced zinc plug. Upon closer inspection, plug appeared to have been incorrectly seated by vendor, causing it to vibrate free.

 

7/15/2019

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

N/A

 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

While repositioning boat fenders, Employee's hand was pinched between the two small boats

 

7/14/2019

 

Field Research

 

Grounding

 

N/A

 

While conducting survey operations, the survey launch was maneuvered too closely to a bridge, causing contact between the VHF and GPS antennas and a cement bridge support.

 

7/12/2019

 

Field Research

 

Unclassified or Insufficient Data

 

N/A

 

Small electrical fire (smoke) observed eminating from computer/printer located on deck of the vessel, in a hand-made "dry" workstation

7/12/2019

 

Maintenance / Repair / Servicing

 

N/A

 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

"We pulled up to a buoy to hold the boat on station. Person leaned over the gunrail and put hand on the lifting eye to put the line through. As I did so a wave rocked the boat and caused the gunrail to slam into my
side bruising my ribs."

7/1/2019

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

Unclassified or Insufficient Data

N/A

Noticed large amount of smoke coming from the port engine room. The crew found that there was fire on the port generator. Because it was difficult to reach and opening the hatch above would be dangerous, it was decided to used the fixed suppression system.

6/27/2019

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

Unclassified or Insufficient Data

N/A

NOAA Small Boat struck an object under water causing damage to the propeller.

6/20/2019

Field Research

N/A

Laceration; Cut

An animal unexpectedly surfaced immediately in front of the RHIB. Placed the throttles into hard reverse to avoid collision. The abrupt change in motion caused the photographer, who was standing on an elevated (~3ft) observation platform behind me, to fall onto me, which drove my face into the navigation console.

6/12/19

Mission Training

N/A

Fracture

During motorboat operator certification course, observer suffered fractured ribs while attempting man overboard recover of the mannequin

6/2/19

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

Grounding

N/A

"Transiting into working area RHIB bumped the bottom as the boat
reached the trough of a rolling swell. No injuries occurred and only minor damage to the vessel including scratches on the hull and prop were noted. The prop was not damaged beyond superficial scratches and is in use to this day."

 

4/29/19

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

N/A

 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

Coming alongside the ship the starboard antenna was knocked down by the frapping line that was attached to the davit falls. The antenna struck the person in the head with a glancing blow to the hardhat and impacted the shoulder.

 

4/2/19

 

Security / Law Enforcement

 

N/A

Back Sprain/Strain, Back Pain, Subluxation

 
 

Person fell while boarding a small boat. Both vessels were stationary and alongside. As the Officer stepped from small boat to the other vessel a wave caused both boats to rock.

 

3/14/19

 

Maintenance / Repair / Servicing

 

Equipment Failure

 

N/A

 

11.1 V 16,000 mAh LiPo battery was sitting on the desk after being fully charged and disconnected for about at 45 mins. it proceeded to start reacting and expanding. it was taken outside and put it on the deck. It then broke open releasing gas and reacting vigorously. As it got worse, it was decided to jettison the battery into the water before further reaction, explosion, or fire could occur.

 

3/4/19

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

Grounding

 

N/A

 

Launch grounded briefly during a training exercise. There were no injuries, damage to the boat appears to have been inconsequential (if any), and no pollution.

 

2/13/19

 

Mission Training

 

N/A

 

"Sprain/Strain Of Ligament, Muscle,
Tendon, Not Back"

 

Rescue Swimmer training - jumped overboard as part of a training evolution, was still attached to flotation gear that was secured to the small boat when entered the water and arm was pulled upwards over-extended.

 

12/14/18

 

Mission Training

 

N/A

Dislocation

 

While transferring between inflatable response boat and small boat, passenger lost footing and fell onto another passenger whose thumb was dislocated. The thumb was put back in place, splinted and iced for the remainder of the day. No significant swelling or bruising appeared.

 

10/21/18

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

Grounding

 

N/A

 
 

10/18/18

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

 

Improper handling

 

N/A

 

Struck a POV (yacht) while maneuvering in a marina

 

8/2/18

 

Mission Training

 

Boat Handling

 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

Training Cox'n at the helm (under supervision of a senior cox'n), divers back-rolled into the water. When the divers surfaced for "okay," the aluminum boat made contact with diver's head.

 

7/26/18

 

Human Movement

 

N/A

 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

Contractor was stepping from shrimp boat onto a NMFS small boat and slipped landing/bruising left shin.

7/13/18

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

Boat Handling

N/A

 

Both the vessel and equipment aboard incurred damage when personnel moved vessel from the boathouse to the adjacent boat ramp for vessel removal. $850 - Boat/ $8K - Equipment

 

5/30/18

 

Hydrographic Survey

 

Equipment Failure

N/A

 

One of the four flashlights mounted to the grab sampler exploded, sending flashlight pieces all over the back deck of the launch.

 

5/29/18

 

Fisheries Field Research / Observation

 

Improper handling

 

"Back Sprain/Strain, Back Pain,
Subluxation"

 

While transferring 20' aluminum spreader bars from the starboard side of the boat to the port, person fell on the deck.The incident occurred underway during calm seas and dry conditions.

5/18/18

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

N/A

"Sprain/Strain Of Ligament, Muscle,
Tendon, Not Back"

 

With the boat in neutral, the boat operator stepped forward to assist in grabbing gear/ hoisting the person in when a wave hit the stern of the boat, propelling the boat forward at the Contractor and toward the spit of the island. The Contractor was able to push away on the hull into the water as the boat went by.

 

5/14/18

 

Mission Training/Diving

 

Boat Handling

N/A

 

As the vessel motored south down the Northwest Channel, the OIC lined up to give 30 yards berth of piling daymark R18, however the current rapidly moved the vessel closer. The OIC avoided the buoy by more than 40 feet, however the towed divers were pushed by a cross current such that their towpath intersected R18 at the last moment.

 

5/12/18

 

Hydrographic Survey

 

Grounding

N/A

 

While conducting multibeam sonar survey operations, launch struck a submerged rock.

 

4/2/18

 

Fisheries Field Research / Observation

 

Improper handling

N/A

 

Boat trailer struck a hole in the road which caused the small boat to jump off the bunks that support it, the force of the boat landing on top of port guide bunk separated the bunk from the support rails, causing the exposed rails to puncture the hull. There was no sound or indication that this had occurred as the bunk fell off and on top of the axles.

 

1/30/18

 

Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel

N/A

 

Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion

 

Transiting (calm and clear) at normal cruising speed (18 kts), saw a lobster pot immediately in front of vessel, too close to avoid by turning so slowed suddenly in order to keep it from entangling the propellers. A person was heading down to the berthing area at the time, and lost balance, falling from the main landing down 4 stairs (approx 3 ft) resulting in multiple injuries.

1/17/18

Maintenance / Repair / Servicing

N/A

 

Laceration; Cut

 

While removing a cutlass bearing, the All-thread used to pull the bearing failed under load and parted resulting in a small piece of All-thread hitting Contractor in the face

9/26/17 Field Research N/A Dislocation While handling the ROV umbilical, scientist had right index finger get stuck to own palm of hand while wearing gloves. The rubber palm of the glove had become adhesive due to the marine grease on the ROV umbilical and winch cable. Scientists attempted to move index finger from palm quickly, causing the index finger to pop out of the joint.
9/15/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Improper gear used N/A Near Miss - water accumulating in the cabin bilge, entering through a through-hull fitting associated with a recently removed side scan sonar. Boat returned to the ship and lifted from the water in 12 min. 6 gallons of sea water were pumped from the bilge. 
9/11/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Boat Handling N/A Upper end of the polypro dive down line was sucked into the jet.
8/14/2017 Field Research N/A Contusion, Bruise, Abrasion severe roll caused by a large wake produced from recent barge or ship traffic in Houston Ship Channel. Employees chair flipped backwards and  hit back of head on cabin wall.
8/8/17 Ship Crew Duties Fire Contusion, Bruise, Abrasion Inverter shorted due to water ingress and began burning. Due to the grounding cable not being connected the inverter started burning. The fire was attacked from the hatch above the space with dry chemical and extinguished. While trying to extinguish the fire, employee injured toes  after a hatch closed on his foot.
7/23/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Boat Handling N/A During personnel transfer, a pleasure boater sped by unexpectedly at a high rate and threw a huge wake. Boat was unable to pull away from the ship or adjust anything, as it was already tied up. Crewmember on the bow quickly moved away from the inboard side of the boat and held on while the boat rocked violently against the side of the ship. The boat sustained damage to the side bumper and upper lining above overhead handrail on its port side. This happened about 20 seconds before personnel would have transferred from the boat to the ship. No personnel were injured.
7/14/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Boat Handling Dislocation lost grip of the tiller and fell off the boat. Dislocated finger when I lost grip on the tiller. PFD inflated and I tread water at the surface. The boat continued at idle speed in a course of slow circles. I swam to the boat and attempted to grab a hand rail line, but instead caught the bowline and let go. The boat continued in slow circles, the bow pitched higher after each successive wave, and the boat rolled backwards over the engine and flipped upside down.  I swam to the overturned boat and shortly afterwards flagged down a vessel entering the harbor.  We managed to right the boat and it was towed into the harbor. 
6/15/17 Field Research N/A Laceration; Cut Affiliate poked finger with tip of autopsy blade during a necropsy of a dolphin on the beach. Victim stated she was rushed by boat operator to hurry up and collect samples which made her careless with the blade.
6/8/17 Hydrographic Survey Grounding N/A While conducting sonar survey Launch struck a submerged rock. Minor damage was sustained to the launch hull. The sonar system sustained significant damage to the mounting bracket. Safety stand down held. 
5/31/17 Mission Training N/A Back Sprain/Strain, Back Pain,
Subluxation
As part of 3-day rescue boat refresher training, Pt helped lift a mariner from the water back into the boat. Pt did not notice immediate problem with back that day but pain and motion got progressively worse over 2 days.
5/1/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Ran out of fuel N/A Near Miss - While testing the Fast Rescue Boat, the boat ran out of fuel and went adrift near the Yaquina Bridge.
4/26/17 Mission Training N/A Back Sprain/Strain, Back Pain,
Subluxation
Conducting docking practice during an MOCC class. The line slipped off the cleat and the person fell backward onto the boat.
4/16/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Equipment Failure N/A The bow mooring broke near the anchor. The stern and hip lines pulled her into the platform attached to shore
3/30/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Equipment Failure N/A AGM battery burst and melted down while the vessel was underway for sea trialing
3/21/17 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Boat Handling N/A While maneuvering into berth, the boat's outrigger stay wire became entangled on a dock-mounted light pole causing the pole to break in half
3/15/17 Ship Crew Duties N/A General Symptoms Small boat transfer in fast rescue boat caused jarring and unpredictable boat motion immediately after which pain and numbness appeared.
3/14/17 Handling Material / Passengers N/A Back Sprain/Strain, Back Pain,
Subluxation
Sustained injury to lower back while assisting a fellow staff member
to lift a 15' inflatable boat
2/7/17 Maintenance / Repair / Servicing N/A Laceration; Cut In cutting zip ties off of cables in vessel well for cleaning/maintenance, operator was careless with a box cutter used in
a small space and sliced the skin between the thumb and index finger.
10/17/16 Field Research Grounding Sprain/Strain Of Ligament, Muscle,
Tendon, Not Back
SB in transit at cruise speed (17kts) altered course to avoid trap nets and grounded on a sandy shoal area. Student Intern, was thrown to the floor.
10/13/16 Field Research N/A Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion Stepped into the open hatch
8/25/16 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Boat Handling N/A Cracked port window during boom operations / egress of the boat basin located at the Sand Point campus, Seattle
8/1/16 Field Research N/A Back Sprain/Strain, Back Pain,
Subluxation
While launching a small boat, fell off the boat while still holding onto the dock
7/29/16 Field Research N/A Dislocation Dislocated knee while docking small boat
7/28/16 Engineering or Construction   Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion fell through open deck hatch
7/18/16 Maintenance / Repair / Servicing Boat Handling N/A Contractor lost winch cable while retrieving buoy
6/21/16 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel N/A Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion Small waves in surf zone contributed to kayak flipping in waist high water and volunteer scraped finger on rock/coral.
6/6/16 Field Research N/A Contusion; Bruise; Abrasion smashed the index finger on left hand
5/23/16 Maintenance / Repair / Servicing Fire N/A Installing an alternator, cabin battery was not disconnected, caused electrical arcing. Fire was extinguished using portable fire extinguisher. Damage to the wiring and power system of the boat.
5/12/16 Security / Law Enforcement Grounding N/A port engine and part of the skeg on the starboard had been lost in the grounding.
4/18/16 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Boat Handling N/A During loading the coxswain inadvertently hit the throttle and caused the boat to lurch forward and strain against the stern line. The line never came off the cleat but his hand could have been easily pulled into the cleat as well as getting a rope burn from not wearing gloves.
12/13/15 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel Grounding N/A A side scan sonar was lost, and the propeller was damaged in the grounding.
11/2/15 Field Research N/A Contusion, crush, bruise WHILE REMOVING SKIMMER TRAWL NET INDIVIDUAL SLIPPED ON WEBBING, FELL FORWARD AND ATTEMPTED TO BREAK FALL WITH LEFT ARM WHICH OVER EXTENDED THEIR LEFT SHOULDER
10/27/15 Test / Study / Experiment N/A Sprain/Strain Of Ligament, Muscle,
Tendon, Not Back
vessel got caught in the trough of a ship's wake. The boat rolled, jerking employee and knocking her into equipment
10/14/15 Test / Study / Experiment N/A Electric shock WHILE INSPECTING HULL OF R/V GLORIA MICHELLE IN SHIPYARD, MARINE INSPECTOR WAS STRUCK WITH ELECTRICITY ON MIDDLE FINGER OF RIGHT HAND WHILE TOUCHING THE HULL.
10/3/15 Operating Aircraft, Vehicle or Marine Vessel N/A Contusion, crush, bruise During photographing operations
9/21/15   N/A Bruising, broken bone WAKE CAUSED ME TO LOOSE MY FOOTING AND FALL OFF THE Small Boat. I FELL BETWEEN THE DOCK AND VESSEL AND HIT MY LEFT POSTERIOR
RIB CAGE ON THE DOCK BEFORE HITTING THE WATER
8/28/15   N/A Stained/ sprain  
7/22/15   N/A Bruising SLIPPED DUE TO THE INCLINE OF THE DECK IN THIS AREA
7/19/15   N/A laceration SAND TIGER WAS BEING BROUGHT ALONGSIDE THE BOAT TO BE SECURED. THEY REACHED FOR THE SHARK TO SECURE THE TAIL NOT REALIZING THE HEAD WAS NOT YET SECURED.
6/24/15   Mechanical Failure N/A BOAT BATTERY DIED
5/18/15   Boat Handling N/A .Small boat struck a sea turtle. Crew attempted to relocate the turtle but the animal did not resurface. No injuries were reported to personnel
4/29/15   Grounding N/A NEW OPERATOR ENGAGED THE PROPELLER AND IMMEDIATELY CONTACTED A SUBMERGED ROCK
4/18/15   N/A Abrasion MOVING FORWARD TO STOW GEAR WHEN BOAT TOOK A WAVE AND SHE FELL, SUSTAINED SMALL LACERATION ABOVE RIGHT EYE AND SMALL ABRASION ON RIGHT CHEEK
3/17/15   N/A Stained Lifting TRANSDUCER ARRAY TO MOUNT AND RE-MOUNT IT ON THE BOW OF A TRAILERED 19' ALUMINUM WORKSKIFF
3/10/15 Field Research Watercraft N/A ENVIRONMENTAL RELEASE -DIESEL FUEL FROM BALAST TANK WAS RELEASED IN THE WATER FROM A SMALL BOAT THROUGH A PINHOLE, 2-3 MM IN DIAMETER,ON TRANSOM
1/7/15 Field Research N/A Unknown Fall while transferring between boat and dock
1/6/15 Mission Training N/A Abrasion  DURING SURF COXN TRAINING, WHILE MANEUVERING THROUGH WAVESSLIPPED IN THE BOAT HIT FACE ON SPARE HELMET 
10/4/14   Improper gear used N/A HEAVEY EQUIPMENT USED TO MOOR BUOYS TO THE SEA FLOOR WAS BEING CRANED OVER THE SIDE OF THE small boat. THE LIFTING BRIDLE PARTED DUE TO AGE AND OVERWEIGHT CONDITIONS. THE MOORING EQUPIMENT FELL BACK TO THE DECK. NO PERSONNEL WERE INJURED

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