I am about to start some research into mooring incidents and would welcome any input or advice… do you have any personal experience or knowledge in this field that you could share with me?
I have a very profound truth I learned early… All mooring gear has a finite breaking point. A ship is big/heavy/powerful enough to exceed that limit easily.
But seriously, safety around mooring gear was always a big deal to me.
Chris, not sure what exactly you are looking for. Accident related incident’s? Have a couple stories for you. Or are you looking for information on how to properly tie up a ship, ie… using the proper type of line/chain for stopping like mooring rope, the configuration of mooring line’s, different types of lines or wires used, safety issues? Would be glad to be of assistance.
Thanks for your qouestion.
BTW - My company had b4 walport safety movies. Some are real educational, but looked like a bit obsolete (on VHS tapes). Now we have digital from another company.
Anyway, here is few tips and scenarios from my practise - and you can ask later to extend the answer.
Snap back areas. Anybody who ever got hit by a broken line was hit when standing in snap back areas on mooring station. Thats a fact. Identifying those areas and standing away from them.
Check the book: Safe Mooring Practices. Few good tips there.
Safety equipment: An AB was hit with broken line in the chest. He was pushed back and hit a corner of mooring winch with a head. He had no helmet. The line didn’t kill him. The fact that he did not wear helmet did. The helmet should be worn, together with chin strap - if he had it, just a few broken ribs would be the consequence.
Berthing speed: Any line can be broken. When stopping the vessel alongside and having the fwd spring ashore - a good care to be taken that vessel moving forward doesn’t break the spring. If having problem with stopping, current, speed, m.e. etc… To give timely orders to fwd team to stay clear, or slack the rope as necessary. To identify the risk from the bridge and advice fwd and aft team on time.
“Political” approach: There was a story that, on occasion, if master did not give enough cigarettes in “Marlboro Country”, (Egypt, Suez, Alexandria…) to a tug master - the tug master would catch too hard, and break the ships tug line on purpose. (to make it even with unrespectful captain…)
Next time master to issue more cigarrets and reduce the risk in that way. (In Egypt - is always a ships line for the tug, they never give theirs)
In these days: one carton of red marlboro to each tug, and each pilot should be enough. B4 they were asking for more. It seams now that they have bargained with local agents for their service and set the price, and “bargaining” is no longer a captains job.
Do not underestimate them: they know the chinese marloboro is 4 usd / carton - and european or US made is 10 to 12 usd / carton. They check on the box the country of origin, and a ship master should not build up his PR by cheap marlboro.
Could be proven much more expensive on the end.
Equipement: The ropes break more violently then steel wires. Steel wires just break and fall in water. In West Europe most of tugs are equipped with tug ropes for flexibility, and on the end several meters of wire slings.
Chris, shoot with questions if you have any.