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MARINE GUIDANCE NOTE

MGN 308 (M+F)

MOORING, TOWING OR HAULING EQUIPMENT ON ALL VESSELS - SAFE INSTALLATION AND SAFE OPERATION Notice to all Builders, Repairers, Owners, Operators, Masters, Skippers, Officers and Crew of Merchant Ships, Yachts (Motor and Sail) and Fishing Vessels. This notice supersedes Merchant Shipping Notice M.718

Summary This Guidance Note provides updated advice on the safe installation, maintenance and use of mooring, towing and hauling equipment. It emphasises the importance of seeking expert advice on the repair and maintenance of equipment. It also advises that risk assessments which cover the use of mooring equipment should in particular take full account of the potential dangers of bights in mooring warps and of “Snap-Back” Zones.

1. Introduction 1.1. Operations such as mooring, towing and hauling (including trawling operations) impose

great loads on ropes, warps, gear and equipment. The circ*mstances of recent accidents show that greater emphasis should be given to considering the safety aspects of mooring and towing systems as a whole, rather than the individual safety aspects of component parts. Hence the system should include the safety of windlasses, winches, bollards and fairleads, their construction and their attachment to a vessel’s structure.

2. Design and Installation of Mooring Equipment 2.1 Winches or windlasses should be constructed to give warning of undue strains by

stalling at well below half the designed maximum safe working load of the weakest element in the system (e.g. bollard, fairlead, shackle, holding down bolt, etc.) and to afford further protection by walking-back at about half the design load (e.g. breaking strength of the mooring rope, tow line or hawser which ever is applicable). For Example: A winch or windlass capable of a 10 tonne pull should be fitted with a rope having a “breaking strain” of 20 tonnes or more.

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2.2 The layout of the installations should be such as to avoid the need for anyone to be stationed or to work in the bight of warp or rope formed by the lead from the winch or windlass round and through the fairleads and over-side. The consequences of failure in any part of the system should be carefully considered and effective precautions taken.

2.3 Pedestal roller fairleads, lead bollards and mooring bitts should be: (a) Properly designed to meet all foreseeable operational loads and conditions;

(b) Correctly sited, wherever practicable this should enable only one line to need to be used on each item;

(c) Effectively secured to a part of the ship's structure which has been suitably strengthened; and (d) Effectively maintained. 2.4 The advice in paragraph 2.3 reflects the outcome of Marine Accident Investigation Branch

accident investigations which have found the following failures of equipment:-

(a) fracture of a roller pin due to corrosion fatigue. The place at which the fracture occurred was located at a sharp change of section machined at the lower end. Because this was located just below the housing surface it was inaccessible for inspection and maintenance;

(b) failure of the welding between a fairlead pedestal and the deck due to

inadequate preparation and poor welding; and

(c) failure of a bollard which together with its supporting pad piece was pulled out of the deck as a result of poor material selection and weld procedures during repairs and an inadequate supporting structure to cope with the service loads.

3. Repair and Maintenance 3.1 Owners, operators, masters and skippers should ensure that all mooring, towing and

hauling equipment, including ropes and warps, are covered by a regular maintenance programme. Equipment should be regularly inspected for wear, damage, deflection and corrosion. A programme of maintenance and inspection may help to prevent such failures or alternatively identify potential failure at an early stage such that repair is a relatively simple matter rather than a major task.

3.2 Ropes, wires and stoppers that are to be used in mooring operations should be in good

condition. Ropes should be frequently inspected for both external wear and wear between strands. Wires should be regularly treated with suitable lubricants and inspected for deterioration internally and broken strands externally. Splices in both ropes and wires should be inspected regularly to check they are intact.

3.3 Particular care should be taken when repairing deck areas, especially those fitted with

bollards or equipment requiring a strong substantial base. Expert advice should be sought externally on an appropriate method of repair, including material selection and welding procedures, of the affected area, where such expertise is not available within the owner’s or operator's organisation. Details of the proposal for carrying out the repair should then be submitted to the appropriate Marine Office of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for acceptance and updating of the vessel’s records. Owners and operators should ensure that the person(s) carrying out the repair is/are appropriately qualified and experienced. Classification Societies should, where appropriate, be consulted.

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4. Safe Use of Equipment: Precautions to be taken before and during mooring,

towing and hauling operations 4.1 Careful thought should be given to mooring, towing and hauling arrangements, so that the

leads used are those most suited and will not create sharp angles. Ropes and wires should not be fed through the same leads or bollards. Fairleads which have previously been used for wires should be checked to ensure they have no sharp metallic areas on the tension surfaces prior to being used for ropes. Pre-planning of such operations is recommended and a risk assessment of the operation should be completed, especially in cases where it is necessary for the vessel to use an unusual or non-standard mooring arrangement.

4.2 To ensure personal safety when mooring equipment is under load, personnel

essential to the operation should as far as reasonably practicable be able to stand in a protected position. Immediate action should be taken to reduce the load if signs of excessive strain appear in any part of the system. Wherever practical the person in charge should avoid getting involved with the physical operations, so that they can retain an effective oversight. Good communication must be maintained between all members of the mooring team. Other persons who have no involvement with mooring, towing or hauling operations, including passengers waiting to embark or disembark, should always be kept well clear of the area.

4.3 Where wire rope is joined to fibre rope, a thimble or other device should be inserted in

the eye of the fibre rope. Both wire and fibre rope should have the same direction of lay. 4.4 Ropes and wires which are stowed on reels should not be used directly from stowage

unless a split drum arrangement is available, but should be run off and flaked out on deck in a clear and safe manner, ensuring sufficient slack to cover all contingencies. If there is doubt of the amount required, then the complete reel should be run off.

4.5 It is often difficult to achieve an ideal mooring layout, but ship’s equipment can be

employed to the best advantage if the following general principles are borne in mind:

a) Breast-lines provide the bulk of athwartships restraint; b) Back-springs provide the largest proportion of the longitudinal restraint; and,

c) Very short lengths of line should be avoided where possible, as such lines will

take a greater proportion of the total load when movement of the ship occurs.

4.6 Where moorings are to be heaved on a drum end, one person should be stationed at the drum end. For heavy moorings and large vessel operations, they should be backed up by a second person backing and coiling down the slack. The line must be tended at all times. In most circ*mstances up to three turns on the drum end are sufficient to undertake a successful operation, and an excessive number of turns should be avoided. A wire on a drum end should never be used as a check wire. A wire should never be led across a fibre rope on a bollard; wires and ropes should be kept in separate fairleads or bollards.

4.7 When stoppering off moorings:

(a) Natural fibre rope should be stoppered with a natural fibre stopper. (b) Man made fibre rope should be stoppered with a man made fibre stopper (but not

polyamide).

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(c) The ‘West Country’ method (double and reverse stoppering) is preferable for fibre ropes.

(d) Wire moorings should be stoppered with chain, using two half hitches in the form of a

cow hitch, suitably spaced with the tail backed up against the lay of wire, to ensure that the chain neither jams nor opens up the lay of the wire.

4.8 Working with Tugs

(a) Good communication between the tug and vessel being aided are important to

ensure that the status of tow lines is understood by both parties at all times and thus avoid unexpected loads being applied.

(b) Ensure the bitts upon which the towing eye is to be placed are clear of rope or wire. (c) When conducting towing operations it is important that those involved consider the

safety of persons on both vessels. (d) All equipment used in towing operations including messengers should be regularly

inspected and replaced as necessary. (e) Similar considerations need to be applied when working with any mooring operation

where equipment out of direct control of the vessel is used.

5. Specific Risks: Bights of Rope and ‘Snap-Back’ Zones 5.1 Personnel should not in any circ*mstances stand in a bight of rope or wire.

Operation of winches should preferably be undertaken by competent personnel to ensure that excessive loads do not arise on mooring, towing and hauling lines.

5.2 When mooring, towing and hauling lines are under strain all personnel in the

vicinity should remain in positions of safety, i.e. avoiding all ‘Snap-Back’ Zones. A bird’s eye view of the mooring deck arrangement is recommended (an aerial view from a high point of the vessel can be utilised) to more readily identify danger areas. Immediate action should be taken to reduce the load should any part of the system appear to be under excessive strain. Care is needed so that ropes or wires will not jam when they come under strain, so that if necessary they can quickly be slackened off. Where a mooring line is led around a pedestal roller fairlead, the “Snap-Back” Zone will change and increase in area. Where possible, lines should not be led round pedestals except during the operation of mooring the vessel, thereafter lines should be made up on bitts, clear of pedestals if at all possible.

5.3 Annex 1 – “Snap-Back” Zones. This Annex contains diagrams of simple and complex

mooring systems, as well as an example of an actual mooring deck arrangement, illustrating the associated “Snap-Back” Zones.

5.4 Further information on “Snap-Back” Zones can be found in the Oil Companies

International Marine Forum (OCIMF) publication “Mooring Equipment Guidelines”, and in Chapter 25 of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen.

6. Health and Safety 6.1 Further guidance can be found in the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant

Seamen; MGN 20 (M+F) – Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997; Fishermen and Safety – A Guide to Safe Working Practices for Fishermen; and the IMO/FAO/ILO Fishing Vessel Safety Code and Voluntary Guidelines, Part A and Part B. Apart from the safety responsibilities of employers and operators, all workers on board ship have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others on board who may be affected by their acts or omissions.

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Further Information Further information on the contents of this Notice can be obtained from: Seafarer Health & Safety Branch Bay 2/09 Maritime and Coastguard Agency Spring Place 105 Commercial Road Southampton SO15 1EG Tel : +44 (0) 23 8032 9227 Fax : +44 (0) 23 8032 9251 e-mail: seafarerh&[emailprotected] General Inquiries: 24 Hour Infoline

[emailprotected] 0870 600 6505

Additional Copies Copies of this and other Merchant Shipping Notices, Marine Guidance Notes and Marine Information Notes can be obtained from MCA's distribution agents who will also arrange the supply of new notices on subscription. Their details are as follows:-

Mail Marketing (Scotland) Unit 6 Bloomsgrove Industrial Estate Norton Street Nottingham NG7 3JG Tel : +44 (0) 11 5901 3336 Fax : +44 (0) 11 5901 3334 e-mail: [emailprotected] MCA Website Address: www.mcga.gov.uk File Ref: MS 166/006/0002 Published: November 2005 © Crown Copyright 2005

Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas Printed on material containing minimum 75% post-consumer waste

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ANNEX 1.1

Figure 1 – A Simple Mooring System Illustrating the Potential “Snap-Back” Zone

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ANNEX 1.2

Figure 2 – A Complex Mooring System Illustrating the Potential “Snap-Back” Zone

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ANNEX 1.3

Figure 3 – An Actual Mooring Deck Arrangement Illustrating Potential “Snap-Back” Zones

MOORING, TOWING OR HAULING EQUIPMENT ON ALL VESSELS - SAFE ... · - 3 - 4. Safe Use of Equipment: Precautions to be taken before and during mooring, towing and hauling operations - [PDF Document] (2024)

FAQs

What are the safety equipment used during mooring operations? ›

Typical PPE consits of the following items: coverall; safey boots; safety helmet; high visibility vest; gloves and buoyancy vest if working near shipside or quayside. Be aware of snap back zones and potential pinch points. The use of deck markings can greatly assist in the identification of these zones.

What precautions should be taken during mooring operations? ›

10 Points for Ship Mooring Operation
  • Prohibit the stay of irrelevant personnel during mooring. ...
  • Master the weather conditions before mooring. ...
  • Avoid standing in the rope snapback zone. ...
  • Check all mooring equipment. ...
  • Check the tail rope specification of the mooring ropes. ...
  • Adjust one rope at a time. ...
  • Check the mooring rope load.
Nov 17, 2022

What are the mooring equipments? ›

A ship's mooring equipment includes mechanisms, such as winches and capstans, that are used to take in and pay out mooring lines, which are ropes or steel cables.

What are the safety precautions of mooring winch? ›

Safety Tips for Mooring Winch Operations

Avoid sudden and jerky movements when operating the winch, as this can put unnecessary stress on the mooring lines and components. Use proper hand signals and communication techniques to coordinate with the crew during mooring and unmooring operations.

What are the mooring procedures? ›

Mooring is a procedure to anchor the ship to a fixed or floating element and keep it connected during loading or unloading operations. Safe mooring must withstand several forces, such as wind, the current, the tide and waves.

Why could the mooring equipment be unsafe to use? ›

Cause. The storage of the mooring lines is not done properly; the lines must be protected as far as possible from the sea and the sun. The maintenance, inspection and testing of the mooring equipment is not done regularly and properly. Untrained mooring crew.

What is the hazard of mooring? ›

Mooring Operation Dangers

Often, lines used during the process have the potential to break, causing them to snap back with significant—and often deadly—force. Several factors can lead to an accident during a mooring operation: Using damaged or old ropes and wires. Not fastening the mooring ropes at the winch drum end.

What factors do you consider as important before mooring a vessel? ›

The combination of both the material and the conditions where a vessel is to conduct its mooring operations, play a crucial role for the operation to be fruitful. When opting for the mooring line keep in mind the: Weight and diameter of the line in comparison to required strength. Elasticity of the material.

What is the safety factor of mooring chain? ›

This paper assessed the factors of safety (FOS) prescribed by industry standards to see how they perform among different mooring patterns. The common FOS in most codes/standards and Class Rules are 1.67 and 1.25 for intact and one-line damaged condition, respectively.

What does MEG4 say about mooring equipment? ›

MEG4 recommends that onboard mooring equipment and fittings, including mooring lines, are identified as critical equipment or systems. A Line Management Plan (LMP) should be provided on board each ship. Ship operators will need to develop a programme for line maintenance, inspection, retirement and end to end policy.

What are the three 3 basic mooring line types? ›

They are crucial for maintaining the stability and safety of ships, boats, and offshore structures while docked. This article delves into the three fundamental types of mooring lines: bowlines, stern lines, and spring lines, explaining their specific roles, benefits, and proper usage.

What are the basics of mooring? ›

A mooring may be a shore fixture, such as a pier, or an offshore fixture, such as an anchor mooring. Which type you use depends on many factors, including weather, depth of the surrounding waters, and more. The main components of this system include mooring lines, anchors, and connectors.

What are the safety devices of a mooring winch? ›

Here are some key safety features commonly found in modern mooring winches:
  1. Emergency Stop (E-Stop) System. ...
  2. Load Monitoring and Overload Protection. ...
  3. Limit Switches. ...
  4. Fail-Safe Braking. ...
  5. Remote Control and Operator Protection. ...
  6. Routine Inspections. ...
  7. Lubrication. ...
  8. Cleaning.
Aug 8, 2023

What safety precautions are taken on ships? ›

Never carry a load in such a way that you cannot see where you are going. Most accidents on board ship are caused by slips, trips or falls. Watch for slippery patches, obstructions on deck, trailing leads and unguarded openings. Be on guard against any sudden lurch or movements of the ship.

Who is responsible for safe mooring? ›

As experienced mariners, they are presumed to possess the skills necessary to ensure safe mooring of the ship. Mooring is the responsibility of the ship and should be under the control of the ship's crew under the supervision of the ship's officers.

What are some measures you can take to ensure safety during whilst mooring? ›

Ropes and wires (mooring lines)

Wires should be treated regularly with suitable lubricants and inspected for deterioration internally and for broken strands externally. The safe working load (SWL) of the mooring line should be on the mooring line certificate and this should not be exceeded.

What are the devices that are used to secure standing rigging running rigging and mooring lines called? ›

DECK FITTINGS

These are the devices that are used to secure standing rigging, running rigging, and mooring lines. Bitts (bitve) are heavy metal bed plates with two iron or steel posts. They are used on ships for securing mooring or towing lines. Usually there is a set forward and after each chock.

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