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Entering or leaving a port, berthing or anchoring are often dangerous manoeuvres. Particular care and attention is required during mooring or unmooring operations
  • a responsible officer should oversee the mooring operation, directing the crew under his/her command
  • heaving lines and mooring lines should be in sound and proper condition and laid out for running, unless already wound on a mooring winch
  • mooring lines with apparent chafing should not be used and should be marked as such or removed
  • lines should be properly coiled on a mooring winch
  • bights, rope coils and running lines should be stayed off at a safe distance
  • the correct Personal Protective Equipment – please see section Safe working clothes – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – should be worn, including hard hats and properly fitted clothing to prevent a crew member becoming caught up in the lines
  • communication equipment which does not interfere with other radio waves or bands should be used.

    If lines are provided by tugs, the attending officer must pay particular attention to whether the lines show any indication of defects or damage. If so, the lines from the tugs should be rejected and the vessel’s lines offered instead
  • particular attention should be paid when other vessels pass by the moored vessel due to the increased strain and tension on the vessel’s mooring lines caused by their surge
  • the use of both wire and polypropylene ropes at the same time should be avoided as their elasticity differs
  • winch operators should have an unobstructed view of the lines they are tending and should adjust lines as necessary to avoid excessive and sudden weight on the lines
  • if the view of the winch operator is obstructed a signaller must be in attendance
  • winch operators should not be responsible for any other tasks during mooring operations.

    The failure of only one piece of equipment or a failure to follow proper procedures may result in severe personal injury or death. The Company will be exposed to claims by the injured party or their dependants. Individuals whose fault is involved may also face criminal investigations and possible prosecution.

    The Master should ensure that sufficient crew members are available at all mooring stations to allow for swift and efficient arrival and departure. Insufficient or inadequate assistance of crew may be noted by attending officials and may, in some countries, result in large fines being levied against the Master and/or the vessel.