Overboard is not the place for discarded mooring lines as Lombard Corporate Finance Ltd., owner of the Eukor car carrier Morning Midas, discovered in an Australian courtroom. As Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA. points out wandering mooring lines are a hazard to other vessels, which is how this case came to light.
The errant 30 to 25 metre line was discovered the hard way by the pilot
launch Wyuna III in the early hours ofAugust 1, 2012 near the pilot boarding station outside Port Phillip Heads when it became entangled in the propellers of the launch and stalled its engines.
An AMSA investigation found charts linking two GPS locations from the Morning Midas deck log book and the site of the collision of the Wyuna III with the mooring line. Morning Midas failed to report a danger to navigation posed by the mooring line.
Acting Ship Safety Division General Manager Alex Schultz says: “It is fortunate the unreported hazard of the discarded mooring line did not cause damage to the steering or propulsion of any larger commercial ships in the pilot boarding ground of Port Phillip Heads.” Ships are required to report any pollution or navigational hazards under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act.”
Lombard Corporate Finance Limited was convicted, fined $5000 and ordered to pay costs. A fair amount of money for old rope.