This mobile accommodation rig was in operation on the Martin Linge field in the North Sea when the incident occurred.
The PSA’s investigation has been directed at both Floatel International, which operates Floatel Endurance, and Equinor as operator of Martin Linge and the holder of the consent to use the mobile facility for accommodation on the field when the incident occurred.
According to the investigation, the disconnection occurred because the gangway stroke exceeded seven metres – the point where emergency lift engages automatically.
The direct cause of the incident was Floatel Endurance being forced off position. Maximum wave heights close to about 7.5 metres were reported ahead of that movement. Waves of this size can give rise to impulse loads which may set facilities in motion. It is reasonable to assume that the load which led to the loss of position was an effect of superimposed wind waves and swell.
The emergency lift meant that work on completing the Martin Linge A platform was temporarily halted and that 243 people had to be transferred to Floatel Endurance by helicopter from other facilities on the field.
Nobody was hurt in the incident. The gangway was open for normal traffic when the emergency lift occurred. One person was on the gangway, but they were able to reach Floatel Endurance safely.
Under slightly different circumstances, the incident could have resulted in material damage, injury to people and loss of life.
The investigation has identified several breaches of the regulations. These cover the following aspects:
- criteria for interrupting operations
- inaccurate information in the safety video
- control of personnel.
What happens now
The PSA’s investigation has been completed.
Equinor and Floatel International have been asked to explain by 1 September 2020 at the latest how the nonconformities will be dealt with.