On June 25, 2021, about 0245 local time, the offshore supply vessel Elliot Cheramie
was transiting in the Gulf of Mexico with four crew and five offshore workers aboard when it struck the uncrewed/shut-in oil and gas production platform EI-259A (Eugene Island Block 259 ‘A’ platform) 77 miles southwest of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Four minor injuries were reported. Damage to the vessel, platform, and pipelines was $362,814.
We determined that the probable cause of the contact of the OSV Elliot Cheramie with Oil and Gas Production Platform EI-259A was the company not adhering to their 12-hour work hour limit policy, which led to the fatigued mate falling asleep while on watch.
In this casualty, and as we have previously noted in numerous commercial vessel casualties, crew fatigue was a significant causal and contributing factor. Company operational policies and requirements should incorporate and follow fatigue management best practices to ensure that crewmembers receive enough rest to adequately perform navigational, lookout, engineering, and other watch stander duties. Such policies should include the maximum hours (both duty hours and off-watch work) crewmembers are allowed to work in a consecutive 24-hour period, except in an emergency. Additionally, companies should ensure that vessels are crewed with the appropriate number of trained personnel to safely perform operations without compromising the work/rest schedules of off-duty watchstanders. Companies and vessel captains should also actively monitor the watch schedules and any off-watch work performed by their crews to ensure that fatigue mitigation policies are adhered to, adjusting watch schedules accordingly for crewmembers at risk for fatigue.