9th October 2023

Personal Injury during mooring operations

Initial Report

During mooring operations, and while a 25’ tender was simultaneously being secured alongside the superyacht, the yacht’s aft spring line unexpectedly came under pressure.
The Chief Officer’s fingers were caught between the mooring line and the deck cleats, resulting in three broken fingers and nail and skin lacerations. The chief officer was working alone.
The incident prompted the company to introduce safety improvements during mooring operations to prevent such accidents in the future.

According to the incident report, the company should consider sourcing smaller diameter custom length mooring lines to secure the line’s working end aboard the tender. This change would leave only the spliced loop to be secured aboard the super yacht, eliminating the risk of two bitter ends being secured over each other on the yacht’s deck cleat. They should also consider switching to a more flexible line and installing snubbers to absorb stress on the deck cleats. These measures will help reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries during mooring procedures.

Additionally, the company proposed additional training for all crew members working with lines on deck, highlighting the dangers of working alone during mooring operations.

CHIRP Comment

This is very much a seamanship matter concerning securing the tender and other vessels alongside, and the suggestion proposed is reasonable and seamanlike.

The company should consult the master on how the tender may be released in an emergency. CHIRP also suggests that preventing injuries to crew must be part of the design specification. The sleek-looking arrangement is in keeping with the aesthetics of the motor yacht, but it needs to be safe for the crew operating the moorings.

Key Issues relating to this report

Situational Awareness – Mooring operations demand good situational awareness and physical coordination, given the risks of lines under tension. Carrying out mooring operations without having the necessary support to keep you advised of changing line tensions is very dangerous. Always have someone supporting you during mooring operations.

Teamwork – Mooring operations demand collaboration where one person monitors the operation for safety, and everyone else looks out for each other. At the Toolbox meeting, emphasise to everyone taking part to challenge if something needs to be corrected or is potentially unsafe.

Pressure – Never rush mooring operations due to pressure, perceived or otherwise.

  • Pressure
  • Situational Awareness
  • Teamwork

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