23rd March 2023

Unsafe Fendering Arrangement for Ship-to-Ship Operations

Initial Report

Our reporter sent a photo of a storage ship with incorrectly rigged fenders, noting that a failure of any of the fender’s securing lines will lead to a failure of the complete fender protection system.

CHIRP Comment

The rope is a single point of failure – if it breaks, the entire fender arrangement is compromised. Good seamanship demands that each fender is individually secured in position since the relative motion of vessels can cause the securing lines to part.

Key Issues relating to this report

Overconfidence – The operator may be too overconfident in the ability of the fender to provide a secure arrangement for both vessels, given the environmental conditions.

Local practices – This may be a local practice. However, in all ship-to-ship operations, both masters are responsible for ensuring that the mooring is secure throughout the loading/discharge operation. Would you challenge this fendering arrangement? Would you abort the berthing?

Alerting – Would you alert the master of the export ship with the fenders that the securing arrangement is inadequate?

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