Lack of Communication: AB Suffers Grievous Injuries During Mooring Operation!

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According to an article published in Safety4Sea, it focuses on a safety incident, where an AB was hit by mooring lines during the vessel’s departure, collapsing in pain, and transferred to the hospital with severe back injuries.

Summary of the incident

In early morning the vessel was preparing for departure and the mooring parties were standing by forward and aft. There was no briefing prior to the departure, meaning that the mooring risk assessment had not been discussed.

The chief officer, not involved in the pilot briefing was setting up the bridge for the departure and the mooring parties were waiting to commence their operation.

The mooring parties were safely equipped, wearing the correct PPE equipment, i.e. helmet, safety shoes, coveralls, and gloves. One of the ABs in the forward mooring party joined the vessel the previous day. Although he had a three-year experience as an AB, it was the first time working in the company. The day he joined the vessel, he had completed the mandatory safety briefing with the 3rd officer.

Due to lapses during the mooring procedure, an AB was hit by mooring lines during the vessel’s departure, collapsing in pain, and transferred to the hospital with severe back injuries.

During the mooring procedure

Beginning its departure, the vessel was moored with two headlines and stern lines, two breast lines and two spring lines forward and aft.

The master ordered for single up, meaning that both brest lines, one spring line and one head/stern line were retrieved. Following, the 2nd officer who forward did not let go of any of the headlines. The other lines were retrieved without any incident. Then, the Master ordered to ‘let go all lines’.

Although the heal lines were slack, the new AB hung them on the hook attached to each roller bollard, instead of around the roller bollard, as the correct procedures suggest, in line with the risk assessment.

Lack of visibility

Another AB was operating the mooring winch, but he could not see the new AB who was handling the lines. This was because the winch was too large.

The 2nd officer didn’t have clear visibility to the most forward headline and thought it was clear because the forward line handler had moved away from the bollard and seemed to be talking on his radio.

Then, the 2nd officer ordered the winch AB to heave in both headlines. The 2nd officer did not pay attention to what the new AB was doing but assumed he was directing the mooring lines.

AB sustains grievous injuries

  • However, the most forward headline was still attached to the bollard. When the AB started to heave up the headline it tightened quickly and came off the bollard hook with a heavy snap that hit the new AB in the waist.
  • The AB collapsed in severe pain and was taken to hospital where it was discovered that he had suffered serious back injuries.
  • These injuries were so severe that the AB was not able to resume seafaring duties.

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Source: Safety4Sea

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