Crewmembers on some coastal tonnage and smaller ships sometimes jump ashore with the mooring line when docking.
– This is extremely dangerous and could end in a disaster, warns Mikael H Andersson, work environment official at the Swedish Transport Agency.
Sometimes there is no mooring guard and sometimes the shipping company does not want to pay extra for the service. Instead they let a crewmember jump ashore with a mooring line. This practice could lead to disaster.
The risk of injuries when landing on the quayside is always present, and if anybody falls in the water there is a great risk of being crushed between the quayside and the ship.
– I have worked on ships myself where we used to jump ashore, and every time we were afraid that something would happen. Sometimes you have a free board of a couple of metres when you come in to the wharf and somebody has to climb on the outside of the handrail, brace their feet against the ship and jump. It is definitely not a good practice, says Mikael H Andersson.
He says that it is mostly on small ships of less than 70 metres, exempted from pilots, that the decision is made not to have a mooring guard. As well as small tankers and dry loaders, this group of ships also includes different sorts of passenger vessels, including the boats that sail up and down the Göta canal in the summer as there are no mooring guards along the canal.
– There they have young boys and girls working as temporaries who do this sort of thing. I am afraid it is only a question of time before a serious accident happens, says Mikael H Andersson.