Video training has long been an effective tool for companies to help share information with mariners. I say companies because video training programs, while effective, are often too costly for individual mariners to purchase on their own. Breaking this mold is a new video on mooring operations by the European Harbour Masters’ Committee (EHMC) which has been released via YouTube.
The EHMC believes the mooring process is the forgotten link in the chain of safe port operations. “This became evident during the making of the EHMC Video the Chain. Mooring activities are a concern because of the number of accidents, the diminishing nautical skills on board ships and at terminals and the apparent lack of knowledge of all the components that affect safe mooring.” said a representative for EHMC.
This was the incentive behind the newest EHMC video titled “missing link, improving the mooring process”. The video shows the entire mooring process, from the production of a mooring line up to the vessel coming alongside, from the basic rules for a mooring plan, to safe working loads, and maximum holding capacities. Further, the video intends to raise awareness for the whole mooring process in order to avoid accidents and damage while simultaneously saving time, money and cutting down on emissions.
“There was no training video available that addresses all aspects of mooring and that is produced with the input of all parties concerned.” Says the EHMC.
During the making of the film many experts discussed the topics raised and to produce in the end one common view was quite challenging; many of the best practices learned in recent years are not being used by mariners and there is no single set of internationally accepted guidelines for the relation between the mooring components; mooring winch on vessel – mooring line on vessel – bollard/quick release hook on shore.
The weakest and the strongest link.
One problem in producing the video was determining which best practices to focus on. For example, the EHMC and their partners agreed that the weakest link in the chain of these 3 components should be the Maximum Holding Capacity of the brake of the mooring winch. The strongest link in the chain should be the bollard/quick release hook on shore. In the end the brake should render before the mooring line, if not even worse may happen; the mooring bollard breaks. Even if wind and/or current forces are small, the brake should be the weakest link to avoid that the shore bollard breaks loose of its’ foundation due to unloading or other unforeseen conditions.
Why is this video important?
The EHMC has also released a the following bullet points to help mariners understand the importance of these principles. They include:
• Mooring activities are still a concern for vessels due to the number of accidents.
• UK P&I, the world’s leading mutual marine insurer, states that ropes and wires cause the great majority of personal injuries. Most of these injuries occur during mooring operations. Mooring incidents also result in substantial claims for damage to ship and shore equipment.
• If the vessel damages quays or cranes due to the fact that it broke free of her moorings, the vessel has only limited liability. The port or terminal has to pay for all the damage which is not covered by insurance of the vessel. This can result in many millions of Euros.
• Quick mooring safes time which improves the terminal efficiency and the turn around time of the vessel.
• Quick mooring reduces emissions, not only due to fewer emissions of tugs and auxiliary engines, but also
due to the reduced speed to the next port.
• Quick mooring reduces the number of hours for pilots, tugs and linemen, making their organisations more
• Mooring lines and winches is an area that has limited attention of class / flag state inspections