During mooring operation on board a Hong Kong registered bulk carrier, a crew member was killed after being hit by a mooring rope, the HK Marine Department informs. The chief officer was the person in charge of the mooring operation at the forward station of the vessel, assisted by other crew members including one ordinary seaman (OS)
During the mooring operation, the forward spring line (the rope) was stuck beneath the berth fender and being tightened up without awareness of the risk. Suddenly, the taut rope bounced off from beneath the berth fender and hit on the OS causing his death.
Investigation into the accident revealed the following main contributory factors causing this accident:
- the communication among the mooring teams was not effective – the chief officer failed to report the improper lining up of the forward spring line to the master of the vessel and continued to apply force to the rope causing it suddenly bounced off; and
- the supervision of the crew members’ safety during mooring operation was poor – the chief officer failed to remind the late OS to keep away from dangerous zone during the mooring operation.
The following safety factors were revealed also:
- safety briefing was not provided to the crew member before commencement of mooring operation; and
- training to enhance the safety awareness in ship’s mooring operation was not provided on board
The Hong Kong Marine Department draws the attention of Shipowners, Ship Managers, Ship Operators, Masters, Officers and Crew to the following lessons learnt from this accident:
- It is important that officers and crew on board ships should strictly follow the shipboard safety procedure whenever they are engaged in the mooring operation.
- Effective communication among the various mooring teams should be maintained during mooring operation and any abnormal situation must be immediately reported to the master of the vessel for consideration.
- Officers in charge of ship’s mooring stations and senior crew members should closely monitor and supervise other crew members during mooring operation; and
- Shipboard trainings to enhance the safety awareness of dangers engaged in mooring operations should be provided as soon as possible to new crew members after joining the vessel. Also safety briefing should be provided to all crew members before commencement of the mooring operation.