Nov 092009


Lives may have been saved when a towmaster stopped a job in which two wires linked by a shackle with a missing pin were out under tension by a shackle with a missing pin. The incident is the subject of a safety alert by Marine Safety Forum.

After towing a rig for 14 days, the crew of an AHV was disconnecting the AHV tow wire from the tow bridle. On inspection the shackle connecting the two had a bent pin and after removing the safety pin and nut, it was still not releasing from the two sockets.

With the deck clear the AHV pulled in on the tow wire but this achieved nothing as the Karm fork and tow pins allow movement towards the drum. The master advised the deck crew to attach the port aft tugger to keep tension on the tow bridle, this was done but still the shackle would not release.

With all the equipment under tension the master instructed the crew to attach a second tugger wire, when the tow master intervened and stopped the job. The tow master then pointed out the danger of approaching two wires under tension being held together by a shackle with a missing pin.

Root Cause
• Selection of shackle for the 14 day tow as it clearly did not cope.
• Incorrect practise for releasing a bent shackle (bad seamanship.
• Complete lack of safety awareness by the Master and the crew.

Investigation Recommendations/Learnings
Crew of the vessel has undergone a full safety review of the incident to ensure all possible lessons have been learnt.

The rig owners and vessel owners were also sent a full report.

Relevant posts

NI Throws Book At Mooring Accidents

Mooring Lines – Wear And Tear Causes Tears

Safety Alert – Deadly Spring Kills Linesman

Mooring Injuries "Horrific"

Publication of Note: Understanding Mooring Line Incidents

Beware of Tow Rope Twangs and Nut Showers

The Poor Moor

  One Response to “Safety Alert – Wrong Shackle + Poor Awareness = Mooring Deadly Danger”

  1. Yikes!
    We took a load sent from the beach a while back, where the pins on 4 shackles were replaced with nuts & bolts!

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