18th January 2024

No Kill Cord was worn while operating a Tender

Initial Report

Reporting a tender driver from a superyacht for not wearing their kill cord when transporting passengers back to the Yacht.

CHIRP Comment

CHIRP has mentioned the value of a kill cord in several articles concerning tender drivers. These valuable safety devices will cut/kill the engine to slow down, stop the tender, and prevent it from impacting anyone who may have entered the water.

CHIRP recommends that they are part of any pre-departure checklist and should be considered part of an interlock so that unless they are worn, the tender will not start. Like a car seatbelt, wearing a kill cord should become an intuitive thing to do.

CHIRP recommends that the manufacturers are consulted to include a kill cord if they have not been fitted to a tender or other transport vessel. It is not difficult to retrofit and can save lives and serious injuries.

If a kill cord is difficult to wear because it is uncomfortable or physically challenging to connect with the driver, consider installing proximity sensors that kill the engine if the driver is thrown out of the boat.

Key Issues relating to this report

Local practices–  The company should standardise the use of kill cords throughout its fleet. Personnel from other companies must be trained on a company policy that demands the kill cord be worn.

Design- Kill cords should be designed as part of an interlock mechanism whereby the tender cannot be started unless the kill cord is worn. The kill cord design should also be looked at to make it comfortable for the driver of the tender to wear.

Alerting- Operational leaders providing instructions to tender drivers must reinforce the imperative to wear kill cords. The support crew must also reinforce the message to the driver to wear the kill cord. Ideally, the kill cord should be part of an interlocking mechanism.

  • Alerting
  • Design

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