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Dangers when mooring and unmooring

A recent near-miss was reported on a member’s vessel, whereby a rigger was nearly hit by a mooring line during a mooring operation. The rigger was operating the capstan when it happened. In the past, a number of near misses have occurred and unfortunately also a number of very serious accidents whereby people sustained extensive injuries.

Mooring and unmooring of barges and ships has always been a hazardous operation. Clearly, not all parts of a mooring operation can be planned without good co-operation and communication with the crew of the facility or other vessel.

To enhance such co-operation and communication, with the aim of eliminating such incidents, the member has noted the following points in its procedures:

  • Always have a ‘toolbox talk’ prior to any mooring/unmooring operation and keep to the agreements made;
  • Follow the correct (agreed) sequence;
  • Always stand clear of areas where you can be hit by a breaking line or a jumping line;
  • Check the condition of the mooring lines before use – if their condition is unacceptable, scrap them;
  • If you end up in a situation where the situation is hazardous, stand back and/or stop the operation and make sure it is safe before proceeding; . Communication between deck and foreman on barge needs to be operating properly in case of sequence changes or otherwise.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.