During mooring operations in the forward mooring deck of a large vessel, crewmembers were sending out lines to line handlers that were ashore; When sending out the last breast line, the crew lost control of it and the line was slackened out in force.

In light of this event, the crew shouted warnings to the contrary; However, despite the warnings, the man closest to the line tried stopping it with his hands.

The force of the line’s movement resulted in a hairline fracture to his right hand. Medical treatment was given on-board before signing off the same day to recover from his injury.

IMCA suggests that the bosun saw what was happening and warned the crew to not stop the line. However, it's possible that the crewman that was closest to the line didn't hear the warnings.

Also, the injured crew member had more than 10 years experience as a carpenter on similar vessels/operations, but did not have an STCW A II/5 license, nor could it be documented that he had received equivalent training on board as required by the company. The Bosun oversaw the mooring operation on the forward mooring deck. No Officer was in charge as required by company procedures.

Probable causes

  1. The force of the rapidly moving line was misjudged when deciding to attempt stopping it by hand;
  2. The mooring operations were being conducted without an officer in charge and with crew members lacking appropriate qualification requirements;
  3. The existing company procedures for mooring operations were neither followed nor enforced;
  4. The risk of events such as this occurring had not been assessed.


Overall, SQE marine has launched a sample of toolbox meeting in order to be used as guidance on board during mooring operations, whereas SAFETY4SEA has issued specific mooring line handling tips.