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The Swedish Transport Agency has noted a number of incidents that have occurred when mooring. One accident took place when a small passenger ship was about to moor. As the ship approached its planned berth, personnel on the quayside asked the ship to moor farther out. The new berth was at 90 degrees to the previously planned location, which meant that the ship had the wind coming from abeam instead of from astern. When the captain guided the ship towards the quay, the deck hand threw a rope ashore which was attached, and he was going to put the rope on the ship’s bollard when the wind caught the ship and blew it away from the quay. The deck hand got his foot caught in a loop of rope and was pulled against the railing where he was stuck, and his foot was torn off his leg. It was a most unfortunate incident that resulted in the deck hand becoming an invalid and the passengers and crew were seriously shocked.

Another mooring accident happened on a tanker when a rope from the poop deck was released into the water too quickly. It sank below the surface and was caught in the propeller. The navigation officer, who was next to the mooring eye, was caught by the mooring rope as it whipped by. His leg was between the rope and the eye, where it was severely crushed and broke off at the knee. Being well prepared and quickly assessing the risks during mooring are important parts of safety work on board. Always having a plan B, and allowing margins for factors such as currents, wind, the bollards’ location on the quay and so on can be crucial in avoiding the kind of accidents described above.

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