201944 Barbed wire while berthing – a prickly problem

22 Jun 2019 MARS 2019

A low-freeboard vessel arrived at port with barbed wire on the ship’s side as an antipiracy precaution. While docking, the barbed wire
came into contact with the dock fenders and was in close proximity to the dock surface.

This situation could be dangerous for crew or linesmen as entangled fencing may suddenly come free from the fender or break, resulting in serious injury. It could also lead to a potential claim from the port if port fenders are damaged.

Lessons learned

  • Check with the port about the distance of the top of port fenders from water line at low tide. It may be possible to adjust the ballast so that the barbed wire remains above the fenders.
  • If no solution is possible with the barbed wire in place, consider removing the wire before docking.