Mooring Rope Risks

Report Text:

I was a passenger on a cruise liner and whilst docking it was good to see that the linesmen were wearing PPE. However, they appeared to be unaware of the danger of standing in a bight.




Lessons Learned: Routine operations such as this should be included in safety briefings to operators and in the scope of safety audits.

CHIRP contacted the port authority, they in turn shared the information with the stevedoring company. They advised the report was of great help and asked that CHIRP continues to share such information

In another report that CHIRP received, line handlers were not wearing personal protective equipment.

Lessons Learned: Lack of compliance with such a basic safety requirement may be a symptom of a less-than-adequate safety culture.

CHIRP also noted a media article on the death of two men whilst assisting with mooring lines. They were thrown overboard from their boat when it became swamped with water and capsized. Although wearing life vests, one man’s vest became unfastened as he was thrown into the water.

CHIRP Comment:

Personnel are routinely confronted with numerous hazards when involved in mooring operations. Wearing appropriate PPE is important and personnel are advised to be cautious and remain vigilant as circumstances may change very rapidly. Do not stand in the bight of a rope and also be aware of the dangers from ropes parting and the potential area that ropes may snap back into.

Advice on safe mooring practices can be found at Chapters 12 and 25 of the MCA publication – “Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen”.
See also the following Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) reports:
• MAIB Safety Digest 1/2014 Case 5 Mooring Dangers, the need to always keep alert;
• MAIB report 16/2014 Crewman lost overboard from the ‘Sea Melody’;
• MAIB report 18/2013 Fatal injuries to a crewman whilst securing a tug’s tow wire, and
• MAIB report 29/2011 Fatality during mooring operations.