Ships enter and leave ports regularly. Tying up a ship when alongside a berth or another vessel is potentially a very hazardous operation, unless simple and effective safety procedures are followed. ‘Mooring Practice Safety Guidance for Offshore Vessels when Alongside in Ports and Harbours’, the latest publication from the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is designed to ensure safe mooring with zero incidents.
“Mooring accidents are always on the list of personal injury accidents, often resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities,” explains Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director. “Indeed, many people who read this guidance will remember some form of mooring incident. Whether it be a near miss or an accident, it should serve as a reminder that mooring and casting off a vessel is a potentially hazardous operation that should always be well planned by way of risk assessments and comprehensive procedures. The maintenance of all ship’s equipment is important, but it appears that mooring equipment can sometimes be forgotten about. Ours is a very simple message: ‘Look after all your mooring equipment and it should contribute to a safer operation’.”
The new guidance has easy-to-follow sections on planning the operation; who is in charge?; communication; personal protective equipment; danger zones; condition of mooring lines; hazards; environmental conditions; vessels assisting; quay access; and mooring equipment. Like all IMCA guidance it is available for free-downloading from the IMCA website for members and non-members alike.