Double check before a Davit failure - Engineer Matters
I was the engineer on a busy 42-m charter boat in the Caribbean in the mid ’80s and, as usual, was called out at all hours. This particular morning at about 6 am the Captain called to say there was no power on the stbd davit. I went to check the breaker in the engine room, which was fine, so I then looked in the control box also located in the engine room.

It was then that I did the old trick of touching in the contactor briefly with a screwdriver
to see if power was there. It was.
In that split second the motor on the davit span, the handle that had been left in place also
span. It shot out, bounced on the teak deck and set off on a trajectory that clipped a
day worker’s back en-route and flew into the boat deck of a larger yacht four berths
to our starboard.

The poor guy was rushed to hospital with massive bruising to his
lower back and was lucky not to have destroyed his internal organs or smashed
his spine.

The handle weighed several kilos and was the Z-shaped type. Although the handle
should not have been left in the davit, I assumed full responsibility and happily the
day worker regained full fitness. As you can imagine I'm very fussy about that kind
of thing now-a-days.


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