A Mooring Accident to Learn from

There are comments on social media that say this incident happened on an MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) vessel, but I haven’t seen anything confirmed, that is just a rumor.

Complacency is deadly. It takes a close shave sometimes to re-enforce safe practice and I would be a liar if I said I had never had a close shave in almost 60 years at sea.
We were all thankfully clear when a mechanical failure on an AHTS let go a rig’s chain. The chain moved across the deck with a standing wave about a metre high watched by us in awe, from behind the crash rails.
Losing the anchor chain on a VLCC because of the vessels excess speed over the ground would be another. My boot laces remained in my field of vision during my departure from the forecastle, after an abortive attempt to extinguish the fire in the brake drum.


Some incidents seem to happen because of a lack of common sense.

You sometimes see incidents of people doing incredibly stupid things and standing in very dangerous positions that people with a normal level of intelligence just wouldn’t do unless they wanted to die. You can’t fix stupidity.

I’m not trying to say any of these specific incidents are due to stupidity, often accidents are due to a design flaw or improper training.

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It is good to hear your wisdom old friend. It has been a while.

We had a particularly nasty near miss when the hydro-racker, (Gusto P 10000), set a strand in the Derrick and one of the fingerboards didn’t close. Eventually that strand fell and dislodged a half dozen more when it kicked free. They were tripping out at the time so there were a half dozen people on the floor, 2” of mud everywhere and pipe falling like like Captain A dumping out a can of pick-up sticks when he was a kid. It’s amazing no one got a scratch.

Not to blame the sailor, he took his eyes off the rope he was hauling in, a habit many sailors get away with many a time. That’s just like a driver taking his eyes off the road and getting away with it until it all ends horribly.

The guy that was hit wasn’t working the line that hit him. He was watching the line he was working (aft of the winch he is at) and must hear the line come tight behind him and turns just in time to catch it.

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That was what puzzled me at first - it was like “Wow, that line sure winds all over the place to get to that winch”

Most likely it’d be OK to allow the winchman to watch only the line if it’s on deck and just being stowed on a reel. In most situations however the winchman should be primarily watching the signals from the person in charge.