Mooring Accident Involved Unfortunate Coincidence
The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has released its report on the mooring line accident that occurred on 3 December 2013 on board the Danish tanker Torm Republican in Bilbao, Spain. A crewmember was seriously injured when a mooring line parted just as he was passing beneath it.
DMAIB’s main focus areas in the investigation of the accident have been the conflicting goals that ship crews encounter and negotiate in their everyday work as well as the interrelations between regulations, procedures, crews’ perception of risk and the reality they meet.
The accident on Torm Republican occurred as a result of multiple coinciding factors: The layout of terminal/jetty vs ship size and layout, a mooring line which had a reduced breaking strength and the unfortunate coincidence that the rope parted just as the crewmembers were passing beneath while doing normal maintenance work.
Common to many mooring accidents is that they happen under normal circumstances and are not exclusively due to some extraordinary outside influence or human action or omission. Mooring operations are routine jobs which are carried out by the crew on a regular basis and are therefore not considered to expose them to an immediate hazard. Since all work contains an element of risk, it will always be carried out as a result of a negotiation of two different goals: Getting the job done and being safe. Understanding this negotiation is essential for creating safety.
The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has prepared summary report of the findings which is available here.