Port arrival and berthing mishaps (3)

This report should be read in conjunction with Port arrival and berthing mishaps (1), (2) and (4)


CHIRP has received several reports relating to  port  arrival  and  berthing.  The  following  reports cover communication failings, maintenance issues, and operational concerns.

What the Reporter told us (3):

Whilst berthing the vessel a tug order was missed resulting   in heavy contact with the berth. It appears that as an order was given to each tug in quick succession, the order to the forward tug may have been blocked by a response from the aft tug. This resulted in the tug continuing to push after the order  was  given  to  stop.  There  was  no  damage  because the rubber fenders absorbed the load adequately. As the shoulder  landed  first  there  was  no  damage, however  if  it had been the aft tug continuing to push, there could have been damage to the quarter with this type of vessel.

CHIRP Commment:

The Maritime Advisory Board commented that a vessel’s speed must be fully under control when approaching a berth. The problem in this case was the rapid succession of orders given to the tugs. Any instruction to a tug should be considered before being transmitted. The view of the tugmasters and their means of communication is an additional consideration. A publication giving guidance on “Standard Pilot Orders for Tugs” by The International Tugmasters Association specifically discusses intervals between pilot orders for tugs and this becomes increasingly important when more than two tugs are utilised. The whole issue of tug orders and language is the subject of ongoing debate globally.


Report Ends.