Skip to content

Incident as a result of failure of a bollard

A member has reported the following incident. A cargo barge loaded with 525 tons was moored to a pipelay barge, when one of the bollards on the cargo barge broke and was pulled away on the pipelay barge’s deck by the mooring rope. The bollard first hit the lay barge hand rail and then bounced on the deck, where the rigging team leader was working on another operation, approximately 10 m from the cargo barge. The bollard broke his helmet and caused serious injury to the right side of the front of his head.

The weather conditions at the time were: wind 34 knots, waves 1.5m. Propylene rope of 64 mm diameter, maximum tensile strength (MTS) 46 tons, was being used on the bollard. The rope did not break, but the 8″ diameter 400 mm high bollard broke close to the weld on the deck at ~15 mm.

The following corrective actions have been taken to avoid recurrence of the incident:

  • Reassess the scenario of mooring cargo barge to the lay barge when the weather conditions are bad. No vessel or cargo barges should be moored alongside the lay barge when wind speeds exceed 25 knots;
  • Physical inspection of bollards. On investigation, the steel quality of the bollard in the weld area was questioned. A qualified third party was to inspect the other bollards for evidence of fatigue and steel hardening.

Safety Event

Published: 2 October 2001
Download: IMCA SF 12/01

IMCA Safety Flashes
Submit a Report

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.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

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.