Bulletin No.: 19/1988

Date (Y-M-D): 1988-11-30

Subject: Pains-Wessex 'Speedline International' and 'Speedline 250' Line-Throwing Appliances

  1. A case has been reported of the rocket in a Pains-Wessex Speedline line-throwing appliance unit inadvertently firing while it was being examined during a safety equipment survey. Fortunately, there was no injury to the persons in the vicinity or damage to the ship.
  2. The cause of the firing was a loose handle which allowed the casing to move relative to the handle thereby activating the firing mechanism as it moved.
  3. This type of casing was first approved in 1972 and this is the only incidence of inadvertent firing which has come to the Department's or manufacturer's attention.
  4. The handle on the unit fits closely into slots at each end of the casing and is secured in position by an adhesive. In the unit in question, it was found that there was only a minimal area of contact of adhesive between the handle and the casing. This particular unit was over 9 years old.
  5. In view of this case of inadvertent firing the following procedure should be carried out until further notice when examining Pains-Wessex Speedline units :

    .1 Lift unit out of its protective polystyrene covering holding the unit by its casing and NOT by the handle.

    .2 Place unit on its end with arrow on the handle pointing downwards.

    .3 Remove upper cover and then remove the ignitor or striker as appropriate.

    .4 Check security of handle to the casing.

    .5 If there is any movement in the handle relative to the casing the unit should be condemned. Do not replace ignitor or striker.

    .6 If the handle is securely fitted to the casing replace the ignitor or striker, and the cover.

  6. The manufacturer will be arranging for the procedures on checking the security of handles to be included with fitting instructions for replacement rockets, ignitors and strikers.
  7. A modification to the securing of the handle to the casing is to be introduced on new units. This modification will involve the fitting of two pins to secure the firing mechanism end of the handle to the shoe on the casing into which the handle fits. This will positively secure the handle to the casing and units fitted with pins will not require to be checked as described in paragraph 5.
  8. One of the manufacturer's recommendations in respect of Speedline units is that they be replaced after 9 years in service. Owners are strongly encouraged to comply with this recommendation.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Line-throwing appliance
2. Speedline
3. Inadvertent firing
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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