First lines ashore! Do we understand the risk?

A number of fatalities and serious injuries have occurred across the maritime industry due to parting of mooring lines. Our loss prevention poster highlights the fact that the first line ashore has the highest potential to snap given the level of load it can experience to steady a moving vessel.

In most mooring operations, the first lines are required to get and hold the vessel in position until the remaining mooring lines are sent ashore and vessel is safely moored. This could lead to the first lines, usually the fore and aft spring lines, experiencing significant loads. Without any load or tension indicators the crew operating the winch may not come to know if the line has been tensioned beyond its breaking load. This makes the first lines highly susceptible to part and snap back causing a tragic incident.

While the bridge team would focus on positioning of the vessel, it is the responsibility of the mooring crew to fully understand the associated risks and communicate these back to the bridge team. The safety of the mooring operations rests predominantly with the mooring crew and how well all the risks are communicated and understood within the team and with the bridge team.
Source: Gard,

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