The Swedish [P&I] Club has recently released a “casebook” containing safety lessons learned from maritime incidents. This useful resource document can be found here: www.swedishclub.com/loss-prevention/cases/case-studies/.
One of the case studies describes a very serious injury of a crew member during mooring operations.
During mooring operations, a member of the crew was caught between a mooring line and the fairlead as the mooring line paid out very fast, resulting in his leg being cut off. A first aid team from shoreside came onboard, and thirty minutes later an ambulance arrived and took him to hospital. He survived but is now disabled.
What went wrong?
The mooring lines were let out very fast, sank, and got caught in the propellor.
- The vessel had a risk assessment for the mooring operation, but this did not include the risk of the mooring line getting stuck in the propeller, as the mooring line should be floating in normal circumstances;
- In addition, the mooring line was partly around the bollard, with a bight and a right angle to the normal pull direction. This arrangement caused the snapback zone to cover the entire area between the bollard and railing. When the rope ran out rapidly and got caught in the propeller it snapped back to where the Third Officer was standing, even though he was not inside the normal snapback zone;
- This shows the importance of everybody involved in the operation being aware of the risks of potential snap-back zones. Mooring a vessel is a normal operation, but the risks need to be re-evaluated every time. (IMCA emphasis).
Members may wish to refer to
- 6 tips for safe mooring operations – SAFETY4SEA
- HSSE 038 Mooring incidents video
- HSSE 029 Mooring practice safety guidance for offshore vessels when alongside in ports and harbours
- Lost time injury (LTI): Hand severed during mooring operations
- Lost time injury (LTI): Hand injury during mooring operations
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