Industry needs a rethink

Mon, 04 July 2016

A clear call has been sounded by Petar Modev of the UK P&I Club for the industry to “update its deck layout solutions for something more flexible”.

According to him it’s not just human error that is contributing to a number of mooring injuries; outdated deck kit arrangement needs to take a share of the blame.


“Yes, the forces are getting bigger and the lines are stronger, so if they break they release much more energy... but the layout of equipment is still the same old layout – which has been around for at least 50 years.” And this, he added, doesn’t take into account the new reality that vessels are moving around from port to port, often doing their best with less than suitable berths without the right bollards or dolphins.

This leaves lines dangerously angled and loaded, and more, smaller boats which often work very hard with a limited crew “don’t always have the manpower to have the right number of people fore and aft to carry out the mooring safely”. He added that “18% of all mooring incidents we have recorded were on vessels of less than 6,000 gt”.

There is good reason to think again about the basics, he explained: “These accidents are almost always severe “something which is reflected in the statistics”, he explained: the 25 years to 2013 saw no less than 13% of these large fatality claims linked to mooring incidents.

“What I would hope for is a different kind of deck equipment design that allows for a better mooring layout. You can devise something to be safe that doesn’t require as many people to handle it,” he said, although he is aware that “there will be some costs involved... and it obviously needs to be low maintenance”.

“I do believe a flexible layout could go some way to mitigate against human error. You can’t get rid of it entirely, but it could change things considerably,” he told MJ. “It can’t be beyond the industry to find a solution.”

Source: Stevie Knight;

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