Jun 242014

ID-100141843Painted capstan or windlass drum ends can create hazards, says a safety alert from the Marine Safety Forum. According to the auditor writing to MSF, the dangers are under-appreciated and says that such drums should not be prettied up with paintwork but many masters do not seethe danger.

Some time ago the writer was involved in investigating an incident where a seaman had damaged his wrist during a mooring operation. Part of the root cause was identified as resulting from the capstan drum end having been painted. The last eight ships audited by the writer all had painted capstan or windlass drum ends and two masters argued that there is nothing wrong with painting them.

The problem associated with this practice is that the paint itself is the hazard. Continue reading »

MSF- Weather Related Incidents Increasing

 mooring, Safety Alerts, weather  Comments Off on MSF- Weather Related Incidents Increasing
Feb 142013

Marine Safety Forum has warned of an increase in incidents when manoeuvring in port or berthed alongside including contact with vessels during river transits; contact with vessels whilst berthing; damage to moorings and gangways whilst alongside in port.

Says MSF: “A critical factor relating to these incidents has been seasonal weather or a lack of understanding of actual conditions. All of the above could have been avoided if good seamanship practices and forward planning had been conducted.

“At this time of the year we see an increase of flow in rivers due to the surrounding areas flooding
and the rivers in spate. This has a massive effect on the flow experienced in port entrances, turning basins and river berths. There also seems to be a tendency due to the weather that moorings and gangways are not physically monitored and tended due to a reluctance to go outside in the cold.

It is imperative that bridge teams monitor all weather, with particular attention to seasonal tidal changes. All information should be passed onto the relevant persons, including deck watchman, to ensure they are fully aware of the expected conditions.
Prior to manoeuvring in port, checks must be conducted and recorded as if the vessel was departing to sea. The Bridge Team must discuss with local services i.e. VTS, any relevant harbour information, this should also include tidal information as well as any local anomalies likely to be experienced.

During a recent incident investigation, Aberdeen VTS confirmed that it is are more than willing to share and provide local information on harbour conditions on request. Likewise, if any vessels have experienced problems, then this information should be shared with VTS to prevent incidents to other vessels.

Listed below are some common problems experienced whilst manoeuvring / berthed in port.

  • Poor vessel positioning prior to and during transit
  • Interaction during transit
  • Insufficient vessel way / speed during transit
  • Altering Azimuth propulsion with applied power set on
  • Thruster capability reduction, due to strong tidal flows
  • Insufficient understanding of equipment limitations / capability
  • Insufficient equipment availability
  • Unaware of traffic movements
  • Failure to communicate concerns
  • Vessel congestion (limited manoeuvring berthing space)
  • Ship Handler inexperience
  • Weather (strong winds, tide’s and poor visibility)
  • Lack of monitoring of mooring and gangways (2 man operation required for tendering)
  • Insufficient moorings deployed for weather conditions
  • Incorrect position of gangways

Says MSF: “We would like all Bridge Teams to take time out to discuss the points raised, and provide any feedback on concerns or learning’s they can provide”.

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Buoy Too Close To Fibre Line Led To Wandering MODU

 maritime safety news, mooring, mooring, MSF, Offshore, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Buoy Too Close To Fibre Line Led To Wandering MODU
Jul 162012

Mooring line No. 5 after the accident

Marine Safety Forum warns that a MODU was moored with eight mooring lines and connected to the well. A loud noise was heard originating from aft, port side column and it was observed on the tension monitoring that the mooring line no. 5 lost its initial tension of 145mT down to 45mT.

The MODU got an excursion of 12 meters from initial position and the MODU tilted 2,3 degrees. Angle on lower flex joint was less than 2 degrees. Ballasting system was run to stabilize the MODU and the thrusters operated in manual mode to re-locate the MODU back to its initial position prior to the mooring line failure.

It was identified some time thereafter that the fiber rope insert in mooring line no. 5 had failed. The triggering cause was that the subsurface buoy shackle/chain came into contact with the fibre rope insert and lead to loss of integrity of the fiber rope insert.

Critical Factors (CF) that lead to the incident:
CF1: Subsurface buoy shackle and chain fastened too close to the fiber line
CF2: Rotational movement of the mooring line lead to the subsurface buoy arrangement getting tangled up into the fiber line (Fig 2)


1. Install subsurface buoy to the bottom chain segment by “snotter” shackle in a safe distance to avoid the subsurface buoy to reach the fiber line segment connection point

2. Install high tension swivels in both ends of the fiber line insert

3. Evaluate use of swivels during test tension to avoid twist in pre-installed anchor lines

4. Assess the use of ROV survey when the MODU has achieved work tension in the mooring lines

5. All parties involved in the rig move process, is recommended to make themself familiar with industry learning related to mooring line failures and by doing so, bring learning forward in risk assessments and point-out potential weaknesses in rig move documentation issued for review

Rig Specific Corrective Action Plans to be developed, tracked and closed.

Download Safety Alert

Apr 022012

Open holes, a hazard when mooring

‘Watch your step’ is a lesson learned by an AB at the cost of a fractured foot while assisting with mooring lines according to a safety alert from Marine Safety Forum.

Says the alert: While vessel had to move approximately 300m to new berth, AB was on quay wall assisting with mooring lines. Able Seaman let go lines and walked to new position to make ready the other mooring lines. Able Seaman fell in unmarked drain or manhole on quay wall.

Brief Description of Root Cause:

No grid over deep drain or manhole, no hazard marking around the hole. Able Seaman not familiar with the area.

Learnings and Preventative Actions:

Watch your step when walking around all areas, especially when not familiar with the area. All areas should be examined so that slips trips and falls hazards are identified prior to commencement of any operations. All hazardous areas should be clearly marked. Having identified hazards, Risk Assessments are to be carried out. Use the risk assessment in consultation with the crew

Download safety flash here

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

 Accident report, mooring, mooring, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on BOEMRE Reissues Alert 259 On Offshore Mooring After Chain-Link Failure
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 »

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.

Continue reading »

Nov 022009
Monkey fist injuries

When you’re throwing a heaving line terminating with a weighted Monkey’s Fist knot, or any other heavy knot, make sure those you’re throwing it at know it’s coming.

Britannia P&I Club  recently reported a case in which a stevedore was hit by a Monkey’s Fist attached to a heaving line being thrown ashore.

Continue reading »