OSV Crewmember Injured in Lifeboat System Test

Lifeboat deck on the Hebron platform (API Canada / Exxon)

Published Aug 24, 2021 6:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

A crewmember aboard the offshore supply vessel Avalon Sea was injured last Friday during a routine lifeboat system test for Exxon's Hebron platform, located off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. 

On August 20, the Avalon Sea was supporting a series of lifeboat winch load tests for the Hebron platform, a routine maintenance activity. The platform's #3 lifeboat had been lowered to the deck of the OSV in preparation for a test. 

When the crew began to hoist up the test weight on the lifeboat winch, they spotted a twist in the rigging and called "all stop" for safety. While they attempted to unhook the rigging and remove the twist, the line came under tension because of the vessel's movement relative to the platform. When the rigging released, it "made contact with a crew member’s face resulting in injuries requiring treatment," according to the Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). 

The injured seafarer was transferred over to the Hebron platform for medical attention, then airlifted off to a shoreside facility. The victim was treated and released, Exxon said in a statement. 

The platform's operators imposed an immediate stand-down of load testing operations on the Avalon Sea after the incident, and ExxonMobil Canada has begun an investigation. The C-NLOPB said that it is monitoring the company's inquiry. 

The Hebron platform is located about 190 nm to the southeast of St. Johns, Nova Scotia. It is a gravity-based structure with a towering platform topsides, and is capable of handling about 150,000 bpd of production. The field was discovered in 1980 and began production in late 2017.