202233 Berthing lines - embedded hazards

22 Jul 2022 MARS 2022

During berthing operations at a loading terminal, the line-handling crew were surprised to find metal rings and tags entwined within the yarns and strands of a vessel’s lines. These objects present a potential catch point and/or finger entrapment hazard for anyone handling the lines. There is also a risk that these objects could detach and become projectiles when lines are under load or when lines are being run. This was the fourth vessel in six months to have lines with such hazards. The terminal authorities grew concerned and made a MARS report. It is likely that the rings and tags are items associated with materials used to pack the lines themselves. It is also possible that these objects could have become embedded within the lines during usage.

Lessons learned

  • When bringing a new line into service, ensure all packing and extraneous materials are removed from the line before use.
  • It is good practice to observe and inspect berthing lines at every use; as they go out and when they come on board. The inspection should cover the general state of the line, but be aware of any objects that may embed themselves into the fibre of the rope during usage.