Last week the Tiller steer engine came off its mounting whilst in use, the torque in the propeller swung the engine upwards resulting in the power increasing. The operator pulled the kill cord to shut the engine off and recovered the engine to the boat. The bung to the boat was attached to the engine so that the engine pulled the bung out as it became detached causing the boat to let in water. Thankfully no injuries were sustained.
The investigation has highlighted a number of contributing factors that, when put in sequence, resulted in the incident.
The boat has been made good now, but remains off-line whilst engine repairs are conducted.
The lessons learned from the investigation are as follows:
1.Protect yourself from harm, if necessary at the cost of property. (i.e. in this case let go of the engine - it can be replaced)
2.Maintenance work is the priority - boats can only be used when maintenance work has been fully completed.
3.Maintenance work can only be carried out by the Bosun / on instruction of the Rear Commodore – Please do not 'have a go' yourself as it may not be per the manufacturer's instructions. There is a clipboard in the cupboard by the galley to report issues to the Bosun. Please use it if you find any issues.
4.Engines are to be fitted according to manufacturer's instructions.
5.Bungs are to be attached to the boat by cord and not to the engine or other detachable parts of the boat.
6.Trust your instinct. If your powerboat checks draw attention to something that just doesn't look, feel, or sound right then don't go out and make sure it is reported to the Bosun.
Near misses are valuable for keeping us safe in the future. Thanks to those who raised this issue and to those who have investigated it to ensure no risk from this in the future. There are near miss forms in the club house and all members are encouraged to use them if they see something that needs to be made safe.