Winch Malfunction Leaves Parasailors aloft for Three Hours

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, May 12, 2014

Two passengers were successfully launched from a parasail vessel for a ride aloft. As they were being winched in the winds picked up, and the parasail towline winch became inoperable and 800 feet of towline payed out stranding the passengers aloft. Additionally, the vessel was unable to make way through the water while battling rough seas and the strong winds, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a safety alert derived from a recent parasail casualty investigation.

The cause of the winch malfunction was due to overheating of the hydraulic power system which occurred because of an inadequate oil cooling system (through hull fittings / scoop type system) that relied solely on the vessel's movement through the water. When the vessel's movement was overcome and stalled by the wind acting against the parasail and the waves, there was no water circulation and thus no resultant cooling of the hydraulic oil. Since there was no fail safe braking system, the towline payed out when the hydraulic motor could no longer develop power. Three hours passed before the winds subsided enough to allow forward movement of the vessel, cooling off of the oil, and restoring the system to operation.

A series of parasail incidents resulting in fatalities and injuries have occurred over the last few years. Since 2006, there have been 11 deaths and 52 injuries as a result of parasailing activities. There have been several common factors in all of these incidents that are unique to parasailing.

This event was fortunate in that the parasail towline did not break and there were no fatalities or injuries, the USCG said, but nevertheless, to prevent similar occurrences, the Coast Guard strongly recommends that insurers, owners and operators of parasail vessels:
Ensure their vessel’s parasail winch hydraulic oil cooling systems are not dependent on forward movement of the vessel. If necessary, have the system modified by a parasail vessel professional.
Owners of parasail vessels which do have pressurized hydraulic oil cooling systems should ensure that their systems are properly fitted with inlet strainers on the sea water supply and that the rest of the system, pumps, motors, controls, oil filters, etc. are properly maintained at the proper frequency.
Review the USCG’s “Know Your Ropes” safety alert

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Rates Increase Boosts Diana Containerships Q3 Income

Diana Containerships Inc. reported net income of $1.4 million for the third quarter of 2014, compared to a net loss of $0.7 million for the respective period of 2013.

Belgian Port Workers Strike

Port workers in Belgium began a 24-hour strike today, November 24, which will end at midnight, Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) reported. It is anticipated that

EU Backs Nantes St-Nazaire and Vigo Transport Link

The EU's TEN-T Program will back the upgrade of the existing sea line between Nantes St-Nazaire, France and Vigo, Spain with over €3.5 million to ensure reliable

Coast Guard

China Defies U.S. Plea for Restraint in South China Sea

China on Monday hit back at "irresponsible remarks" from the United States which has called on Beijing to stop a land reclamation project in the disputed South

USCG Medevacs 80 Yr-Old Near Lake Michigan

A Coast Guard aircrew medically evacuated an 80-year-old man off Beaver Island in Lake Michigan Sunday night. The man’s name is not being released. At 5:40 p.

USCG Assist Duck Hunters Near Harrington Beach Park

The Coast Guard and the Port Washington and Cedar Grove Fire Departments came to the assistance of two duck hunters on Lake Michigan Friday. The names of those involved are not being released.

Maritime Safety

Environmental Awards Recognize 84 Foss Vessels

With a combined 840 years without an environmental incident, 84 Foss Maritime and subsidiary companies' tugs and tank barges have been recognized by a major maritime

Interferry Welcomes IMO Decision on LNG Fuel Tank Placement

Interferry has welcomed a decision at last week’s IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting (MSC94) setting out rules for the location of fuel tanks on LNG-powered ships,

China Defies U.S. Plea for Restraint in South China Sea

China on Monday hit back at "irresponsible remarks" from the United States which has called on Beijing to stop a land reclamation project in the disputed South

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1841 sec (5 req/sec)