BOEMRE Reissues Alert 259 On Offshore Mooring After Chain-Link Failure

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May 302011

Investigation determined that a 6 3⁄4-inch diameter, 862-pound chain link in the tether chain had fractured and separated near its butt weld.

In early 2011, a single point mooring system for a deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) project failed at the tether chain for a free-standing hybrid riser, allowing the buoyancy air can and the free-standing flowline riser to separate. The 440-ton buoyancy air can rose suddenly to the surface while the free standing riser collapsed. Based on the investigation of this event and a review of historical events, BOEMRE is revising and re-issuing Safety Alert #259.


The investigation determined that a 6 3/4-inch diameter, 862-pound chain link in the tether chain had fractured and separated near its butt weld. Analysis of the fracture indicated that the chain link had a weld repair and the fracture initiated in the middle of the weld. Three links of the 24-link tether chain were found to have weld repairs. After the chain had been heat treated, the non-US based manufacturer had made weld repairs to the chain by grinding defects and filling the void with weld material. The chain was being built in accordance with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Offshore Mooring Chain standard. Post heat treat weld repairs are disallowed per DNV’s Offshore Mooring Chain standard. The post heat treat weld repairs made the chain susceptible to hydrogen induced stress cracking due to the extreme hardness of the weld material and the residual stress within the weld. Continue reading »

Tamina: Mooring Injuries Potentially Fatal

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Jan 272011

Tamina's winch

Injuries during mooring operations are often horrific and too commonly fatal. The briefest moment of inattention, uncertainty or confusion can result in tragedy. In the case of an incident aboard m/v Tamina a second officer’s was spared because of the prompt action of crew and the proximity of an ambulance but he lost a leg.

The Swedish Transport Agency report on the 7 July 2010 incident says: “…the bunker vessel Tamina departed from Dalanäs, Gothenburg. The destination was Masthuggskajen about 1.6 nautical miles away where the vessel berthed at the platform below the loading ramps for the high speed craft Stena Carisma.
The crew of the vessel consisted of Master, Chief Officer, second officer and two able seamen. In addition to the regular crew members there were also two cadets on board. Continue reading »

Oct 222010

image Discrepancies between procedures and shipboard practice may have contributed to the death of an integrated rating aboard the floating storage and offloading tanker Karratha Spirit while untying from a buoy off Dampier, Western Australia says Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau, AMSA. Concern is also raised that vagueness regarding precisely when such a vessel can be termed ‘navigable’ means that there are times when a vessel falls outside the jurisdictions of Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority and AMSA.

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Covadonga Mooring Fatality

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Oct 012010

Damaged shoe hints at victim's injuries

Germany’s Bundesstel le für Seeunfalluntersuchung, Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, has released its report into the fatality of a worker at the Brunsbuttel Lock due to head injuries as a result of a parting mooring line. On the 28th October, 2008, interaction between the moored TMS Covadonga, awaiting entry into the lock, and TMS Lister, which was emerging from the lock caused movement of the former which led to the forespring snapping and hitting a worker on the dock.

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AP Moeller Incident: Plan for Safety, Not Funerals

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Jun 202010

image A second officer and the ABs under his command during unmooring operations either did not realize the risk associated with the job they were doing or tolerated the risk, given their previous experience in similar situations says a report from the Danish Maritime Authority on an incident aboard the AP Moeller  in Singapore which an AB was injured when a rope guide broke and a spring line hit an AB on his right hip, throwing him against a windlass resulting in injuries to his hip, head and arm requiring hospitalisation.

Mooring operations are inherently hazardous, involving complex factors and enormous stresses. Injuries are unfortunately common and often horrendous, if not fatal. The routine nature of mooring operations, however, and the speed of container operations, too often lead to lack of planning,  ‘safety blindness’ and complacency.

If you don’t plan for safety, plan for a funeral.

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Feb 222010


Fast Ann a 1980-built decommissioned and unmanned 1,740 tonne cargo vessel waiting to be dismantled, parted her moorings on an ebb tide in dense fog in the River Humber on 19 January 2010. Her radar echo was acquired and tracked by Humber Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), who made several unsuccessful attempts to establish communications with the unknown contact. A pilot vessel and two tugs were then tasked to investigate. One of the tugs managed to identify the vessel and made fast a tow line to her stern. Dense fog and a strong ebb tide of about 4 knots hindered the efforts of the tug, which could not prevent Fast Ann from making contact with the Immingham Oil Terminal structure.

There was damage to vessel’s bow structure and starboard side railings and IOT suffered damage to the structure supporting the pipelines. Continue reading »

Tug Mariner

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Feb 052010

image Tide, inadequate mooring, open scuttles in galley and toilet, a switched-off engine and a crew who were busy transferring bunkers from a barge to the tanker Atlantic Muse, resulted in the pusher tug Mariner 1 capsizing while still moored to the barge.

A report by Marinha Do Brazil, the Brazilian Maritime Authority, concludes that the mooring arrangements with “the tugboat berthed at the barge with hawsers of spring and bowlines, without a hawser athwart” meant that an ebbing tide of up to 4 knots opened the gap between the tug’s bow and the barge, forcing the tug to heel over, submerged the portholes of the gallery and toilet with subsequent flooding.

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NI Throws Book At Mooring Accidents

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Oct 232009

image Death and injury from wayward mooring lines have been highlighted in recent months yet most are avoidable through good practice, maintenance, adequate hazard assessment and common sense. According to International Maritime Organisation secretary general Efthimios Mitropoulos there has been little formal presentation of mooring, a gap that the Nautical Institute seeks to fill with two practical guides.

Says the institute “Mooring accidents cause great concern to those in the maritime industry, both ashore and afloat. Good practice is urgently needed to prevent deaths and injuries, particularly in trades such as dry bulk and containers.”

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Safety Alert – Deadly Spring Kills Linesman

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Sep 152009

Devprayag's killer spring

Allowing poor maintenance of mooring lines may be a way for cheapskates to save money but it kills seafarers and, as in this case, linemen ashore. Maritime New Zealand makes the point in its latest issue of Lookout!. It also highlights a murderous level of negligence and poor seamanship aboard the Indian-flagged bulker Devprayag.

A synthetic aft spring, worn, damaged, contaminated with grease and paint – which degrade synthetic materials, and unrecorded in the ship’s documentation and certificates, was apparently felt appropriate by the shipowner and the vessel’s officers to handle the enormous forces it was subject to. It was not. It snapped, seriously injuring a crewmember, who was so badly hurt he was unable to give information to investigators, and hitting a lineman ashore who was flung over a steel railing and killed.

Continue reading »