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High potential near-miss: Mooring rope parted

What happened?

Mooring buoy rope parted while the vessel was moored. No injuries or damage to the vessel occurred apart from the parted mooring rope. The potential severity of incident was categorized as “high” owing to the potential injuries that could have arisen had someone been in the snap back zone.

What was the cause?

Equipment failure following from wear & tear, in turn following from inadequate or insufficient routine inspection. It was evident from inspection after the fact that the condition of the mooring rope was bad.

Lessons Learnt/Preventive Action

  • Planned and regular inspection of mooring ropes;
  • If mooring ropes are found in poor condition, they should be taken out of use;
  • All crew associated with mooring operations should be properly informed and fully briefed with regard to:
    • the mooring operation in general;
    • checking for defects with the ropes;
    • proper precautions relating to keeping out of the snap back zone.

Members may wish to review a list of mooring-related incidents – this can be done by visiting the IMCA website safety flash page and entering the appropriate search text (e.g. parted mooring) in the box entitled “Search safety flashes…”

We will highlight two similar incidents here, although in both cases, injury resulted from parted mooring lines:

Members should be aware of existing IMCA documentation as follows:

Safety Event

Published: 15 June 2017
Download: IMCA SF 15/17

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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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.