Hints on Operation of the Personnel Net

To function properly and safely, the personnel net needs only a little simple cooperation from the crane operator, boat skipper, a person deck, and the passengers.  If the net is operated properly, it is as safe as climbing the stairs in your home.

  1. All persons riding the net will wear life preservers fully fastened.
  2. Not more than 4 persons should ride the net at one time. (Note: Some personnel nets are designed for 6, 8, or 12 persons).
  3. In rough seas or when the boat has limited deck space, two persons should be the maximum load.
  4. Injured, ill, or persons who lack confidence in their ability, may ride inside the net-type personnel carrier. A person experienced in personnel transfer procedures should escort the person.
  5. The crane operator may refuse to lift any person who does not comply with the operator’s instructions.
  6. The crane operator should operate his crane as smoothly as possible at all times. This precludes any fast lift-off from the deck.
  7. Personnel, when boarding the net from the boat deck, should have a firm grip on the net lines, preferably an arm stuck through a square in the rope netting. In extreme rough weather, on lift-off there is always a chance of a sudden jerk when the load cable becomes taut, and as the boat falls away from net.  Personnel should be prepared for such jerks and have an extra firm grip on the ropes.
  • Individuals should be instructed to stand on the outer rim, evenly spaced, and adjacent to a sidewall opening in the netting, facing inward.
  • Passenger forearms should be interlocked on the inside of the sidewall netting.
  • In preparation for lifting off the deck, personnel should have one foot firmly placed on the basket rim and the other foot on the deck of the boat (facility) for stability.
  • As the crane operator begins to hoist the net type personnel carrier, passengers step off the deck and place both feet firmly on the outer rim.
  • As the net-type personnel carrier nears the deck, personnel should bend their knees slightly and be prepared to step off.
  1. At no time will heavy items such as toolboxes, machine parts, etc. be carried in the net while passengers are being transferred. Only a limited amount of light personal luggage should be permitted inside the carrier when personnel are being transferred.  Should there be any doubt about what is “light” a cargo basket should be used to transfer the material.
  2. When departing from the platform, the net will not be lowered directly over the boat. Lower the net over the water to a position slightly above deck level and then swing the boom or maneuver the boat until the net is hanging over the landing area, and lower the net to the deck.  When departing from the boat, reverse the above procedure.
  3. When a net with passengers is nearing the deck, one or more persons on the boat should steady the net and guide it to the deck.
  4. The greatest hazard that has been encountered by crew boat personnel is the fouling of the net by foreign objects on the aft deck. The deck should be as clean as possible during a personnel net lift operation.
  5. The personnel net is not to be used as a cargo net—personnel and baggage only.
  6. When not in use, store the net where it will not be damaged