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Unsafe mooring practices

What happened

During a routine marine inspection of a vessel it was observed that rope lines had been attached to the mooring winch control levers to facilitate ‘remote’ operation of the winches.

This is an inappropriate and unsafe practice. There are a number of very good reasons why, including:

  • Accidentally pulling on the wrong line and performing an unintended action;
  • Crew member getting entangled in the lines and inadvertently operating the winch;
  • Lack of proper control of winches.

Mooring and unmooring a vessel is inherently a potentially dangerous operation and requires crews to be in full control of all associated equipment.

Recommendations included:

  • Adequate personnel under the supervision of a certified officer should be available for:
    • handling of equipment and gear
    • communications
    • directing the winchman.

Members are referred to the following IMCA publications:

Safety Event

Published: 25 July 2017
Download: IMCA SF 18/17

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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