Beware Snap-Back

The UK has warned seafarers to beware of mooring lines after an officer was seriously injured on a Nakilat LNG carrier.

The 267,335-cbm Zarga (built 2010) was conducting berthing operations at the South Hook LNG terminal in Milford Haven in March when a rope parted, snapping back and causing the crewman severe head trauma requiring emergency surgery.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a safety bulletin to address urgent lessons ahead of a full investigation report.

It said that as the winch operator attempted to heave in on the springs, the winch repeatedly stalled.

“After about 10 minutes, one of the spring lines began to rattle and creak, and then suddenly parted,” it added.

The lines were five years old. The crew assumed the ultra-high modulus polyethylene (UHMPE) material would mean the rope would fall to the deck in the event of failure.

The danger of snap-back was identified in the vessel’s risk assessments, but snap-back zones had not been marked on Zarga’s mooring decks.

MAIB tests showed a snap-back of more than 15m in less than a second.

It said owners should ensure that the type of lines and tails used are suitable for the task and that the dangers of snap-back are fully considered.

For more maritime news see Tradewinds

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