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Personal flotation device lanyard caught in rope during vessel unmooring

  • What happened?

    A vessel mooring line snagged on the installation flange on another vessel during unmooring.

    Technician used a grappling hook and small diameter rope to free the mooring line.

    The grappling hook became caught in the mooring line.  The rope became entangled in a loose lanyard on the technician's personal flotation device.

    When the mooring line was released from the snag point, the grappling hook and rope dropped to the water, pulling the technician towards the edge of the vessel.

    Technician managed to free himself before being pulled overboard.

    Breasting Dolphin approximately 12 metres in height with flanges and a fender
  • Why did it happen?

    Hazards associated with protruding grouting flanges on piles was not fully recognised.

    Poor communication between storage & loading and marine personnel.  Unclear roles and responsibilities.

    Risks associated with handling mooring lines were not fully identified and mitigated.

    When a mooring line snagged, there was a perceived urgency from the production team to release the snagged line.  They did not stop to consider the dangers of using a grappling hook intended only for vessel use, or of entanglement with a personal floatation device lanyard, even though these were known to come loose.

    A personal flotation device with a PFD lanyard hanging from the personal flotation device
  • What did they learn?

    Ensure operating procedures clearly define:

    • roles and responsibilities
    • communication methods and protocols between work teams.

    Make sure these are understood.

    When abnormal situations arise, stop and think.

    Responses to abnormal situations (not just normal operating conditions) should be pre-planned and documented. Ensure personnel knows how to respond.

    A diagram showing the orientation of Breasting Dolphins in relation to the snag point
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    What other actions could have been taken?

    How can something like this happen here?

    What might a mooring line snag on?

    If a line snags, what should we do?

    Has your lanyard ever snagged? What happened? What could have happened?

    How can we improve how different teams communicate?

    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 28/06/19 132 Views 0 likes

A vessel mooring line snagged on the installation flange on another vessel during unmooring. While trying to free the mooring line, a technician’s loose personal floating device lanyard got entangled with a rope, pulling him towards the edge of the vessel. He managed to free himself before being pulled overboard.