Tugboat sheers fairlead and damages ship’s poop deck



The vessel was approaching the berth under the pilotage. One tugboat was made fast on the starboard shoulder, forward of another tug boat that was already made fast through the Panama fairlead on the starboard quarter. For the docking, it was necessary for the vessel to swing, head into the wind, and back to dock port side to berth. Recorded winds were Southerly 21-27 knots and the main engineswere stopped.

The pilot instructed the tug boat that was made fast through the
Panama fairlead to square up and pull. The tug boat did pull the ship,
but not as per the pilot’s instructions, causing the Panama chock on
the starboard quarter to be uprooted. The vessel’s forward and aft
mooring fittings had an indicated safe working load (SWL) of 45 MT
and those of the main deck 24 MT. The maximum bollard pull of the
tug boat was 60 MT.

The incident caused considerable damage, with the Panama fairlead
detached from the deck plating, an air vent pipe detached from deck
mounting, the accommodation stay side frame and plating buckled,
the poop deck plate buckled in way of sheared Panama fairlead,
internal transverse bulkhead and one bracket buckled, side shell plating
bent at the upper edge and adjacent guard rails on the starboard poop
deck damaged.

Root causes

1. Failure to follow instructions: The tug boat Master did not follow
pilot’s instructions.

2. Incorrect use of equipment: Rendering capacity of the tug rope used
for the pull up was much higher than the SWL of the fairlead.

3. Adverse sea/weather conditions: Weather was bad, sea was rough,
and wind was brisk. The incident also took place during night hours.
The bad weather may have contributed to incorrect handling of the

4. Inadequate supervision. Since the tug boat was using a line with
strength considerably higher than the SWL of the deck fittings, the
officer on deck should have alerted the Master.


Text & Image Source:


Report ID 201407


Categories: Safety Reports | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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