Car Carrier knock over crane in Bremerhaven

Lots of windage in a ship like this:

PS> Maybe too many lines on one bollard could have been a contributing factor?

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Typically for a car carrier depending on wind direction at somewhere around 50 kts wind speed tugs will be required to stay alongside.

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It’s been a tough week for the RO/ROs.

Safety Alert: Mooring Precautions for Vessels with Large Sail Areas When Expecting High Winds (

20 years ago I saw a cruise ship from one of the major cruise lines break their mooring lines and being pushed onto a reef in the Caribbean. The wind had been building for about an hour but apparently no one noticed until I called them and mentioned their mooring lines looked ready to part. Eventually the ship had to cut the mooring lines and the anchor and leave all behind but thankfully 2000 ‘guests’ were loaded on board and the ship departed safely with just a few indentations in the hull from later reports. Nothing was ever reported officially. The next week we got a carton of ribeye steaks as a gift for calling them on the radio. Fair trade.

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Many piers once used for general cargo ships have over the years in a number of ports have been cleared of wharf sheds and cargo handling equipment and are now used to berth car carriers.
The bollards on the wharves were never designed to handle the vertical loads imposed by the mooring lines and the deployment of cargo ramps further limits the number of bollards that can be used. Container ships are forced to cease operations in high winds because anemometers on the gantry cranes shut the crane down. On some ports recessed bollards allow the ship to run brest lines that would normally impede cargo operations to keep the vessel alongside.
The same solution could usefully employed for car carrier berths and a proper risk assessment by the port authority.


I missed that the name of the ship was Don Quijote


It was blowing like stink that evening as a front came thru. No surprise - it was well announced by the weather services to the minute more or less.


Get rid of the lines and use suction cups. It’s 2023!

Investigations: Enough bollards, placement of bollards on ship and pier, slipppage or breakage of lines.

You should sign: Yours Truly, Johnny Bollard.

Zing! Nice one. But I’m being serious. Imagine how much time and money suction cups could save? Especially on quick turn-around stays.

Are there suction cups with reliable holding power under a variety of directional forces, contact surfaces, and vessel movement surges?

There is this system in use for the Cook Strait Ferries. The terminal in Wellington were it is in use they call 50 knots of wind a breeze.

It has proven it works:

It can be used for vessels of all types and sizes:

More such systems are available in the market: