Rib-X "did not meet its responsibilities" as builder of defective RIB that fell apart in Poole earlier this year

Rigid inflatable boat manufacturer Rib-X has been criticised in a report into how the console and jockey seats on one of its boats detached while it was performing high-speed manoeuvres in Poole earlier this year.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s (MAIB) report, released this morning, said that Rib-X “did not effectively monitor the activities of its dealers” and “did not meet its responsibilities with respect to the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)”.

The report concerns an incident on 20 April this year in Studland Bay when three trainees and their RYA instructor were performing high-speed manoeuvring drills on a new Rib-X XP510.

Soon after the boat entered a wide turn to starboard at a speed of between 20 and 25 knots, its combined jockey seat and steering console suddenly detached and the instructor was thrown overboard.

The trainee on the helm was thrown to port, activating the kill cord and cutting the engine. The three trainees then re-positioned the console, restarted the engine and picked up the instructor, who was unhurt.

It was later found that only one of the four screws that fixed the RIB’s console module to the deck had properly penetrated the plywood base, and that the boat had not been thoroughly inspected before delivery to its owner.

The investigation also turned up that a CE plate, signifying the boat’s compliance with the RCD, had been affixed to the hull before the craft had been completed and its adherence to the essential requirements of the RCD had been verified.

In response, Rib-X has written to all owners of its boats fitted out by Holes Bay Marine, the dealer that sold the defective RIB, requesting that they return the boats to the factory for examination.

The builder has also undertaken to introduce procedures designed to ensure builder’s plates are not affixed to boats before they have been fully rigged by an approved installation engineer.

Visit the MAIB’s website to read the full report.