MARS Report No. 72
The Nautical Institute has issued MARS Report No. 72 regarding incident resulting in loss of anchor due to heavy movements during bad weather.
A few hours after leaving port the weather conditions deteriorated and the Master reduced speed, taking all necessary precautions for navigation in bad weather. Some time later the weather improved and the Master had the crew check the forecastle for any damage and the lashing and anchor stowage. All was found in order. The same day, the chief officer went forward on safety rounds and both anchors were once again found in the proper stowage position and secured. Later that day the weather turned bad again until the late morning of the next day. At that time the starboard side anchor was found missing while the chain, including the swivel and the end link, was still onboard.
What went wrong
A tongue type stopper is fitted such that the horizontal link of the chain rests on the tongue, thus taking the weight of anchor chain and the anchor, when the anchor is fully housed. It is believed the anchor, although lashed and secured with turnbuckle, was not fully resting on the chain stopper. This is supported by the fact that the anchor had been found loose some time earlier and the turnbuckle was re-tightened. If the anchor was fully housed and properly resting on the stopper, the lashing would not have been found loose. So the anchor, hanging slightly, was subject to heavy movements due to bad weather. This caused the pin of the D-shackle to be lost, resulting in the loss of anchor.
After the incident, corrective action was taken such that the anchor chain was properly resting on the stopper when the anchor was in the fully stowed position. Also, the locking pin on the D-shackle has been welded to avoid accidental release.
The anchor as secured
(Image Credit: The Nautical Institute)
Read more information and photos of the incident in the Nautical Institute Mars Report No. 72.