Gard warns Masters against increased mooring incidents

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Masters are being advised to take into account critical aspects of each port’s design and their own vessel’s characteristics to avoid their ship’s breaking their mooring lines.

The warning came after investigations by the leading Scandinavian P&I Club, Gard into several P&I and hull and machinery incidents involving an increase in the number of moored vessels breaking away from their berths.

Gard urged Masters to carry out appropriate risk assessments, taking into consideration the vessel’s characteristics, type, size, trading pattern and the prevailing weather conditions. It said that even when extra mooring precautions were taken, extreme weather factors and unusual situations can result in vessels breaking their moorings and sometimes grounding – causing damage to their own or other vessels, port infrastructure and environmental damage.

Wind speeds recorded in the incidents studied by Gard ranged from 63 km/h to 120 km/h (Beaufort force 7-12), although in one case the actual wind speed was estimated to have been much higher due to the funneling effect of container stacks ashore.