PSA sheds light on man overboard incident at Scarabeo 8

PSA sheds light on man overboard incident at Scarabeo 8The Petroleum Safety Authority’s (PSA) investigation of the incident on Scarabeo 8, when a man fell overboard, has been completed. According to the PSA, several regulatory breaches were identified.

A man fell overboard from the semi-submersible drilling rig Scarabeo 8, that was located in the Barents Sea, at about 04.00 on Friday, February 20, 2015.

According to the PSA, The incident occurred when subsea personnel were preparing to bring the blowout preventer (BOP) back into service after about four weeks of maintenance. Two subsea engineers were working in the moonpool area at the time of the incident. They entered the BOP carrier used to move the unit between the well centre and the parked position.

One of the subsea engineers descended the ladder which leads to a small access platform on the carrier. According to the PSA, as he stepped off the ladder onto the grating below, he fell through a gap directly into the sea 13.5 metres below. The other subsea engineer observed the fall and managed to throw out a lifebuoy.

The man-overboard alarm was sounded via Scarabeo 8’s control room to the Esvagt Aurora standby ship. Personnel on the latter mobilised its MOB boat and picked up the person from the water. He was flown by helicopter from the standby ship to hospital for a check and treatment. No serious injuries were found, the PSA said.

Consequently, the PSA decided to investigate the incident. This investigation has sought to clarify the course of events, the direct and underlying causes and the actual and potential consequences, and possibly identify breaches of the regulations.

Direct cause

The direct cause of the incident was the missing grating on the BOP carrier platform, probably as a result of high seas ahead of the incident.

Potential consequences

The PSA says that under slightly different circumstances, the senior subsea engineer could have suffered serious injuries or could have been killed.


Four non-conformities have been identified by the investigation. These relate to maintenance of gratings, barrier management, maintenance management and expertise and training.

Scarabeo 8 is operated by Saipem’s Norwegian Branch. The PSA has now asked the company to account for how the non-conformities will be dealt with.

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