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A Chief Officer was hit by hook of wire rope while mooring operation

A Chief Officer was hit by the hook of a parted mooring wire rope 

while undertaking mooring operation on board "Shun Hong Hai 11" (順宏海11) 
at To Kwa Wan, Kowloon on 1 September 2002

1.  The Incident 

1.1 At about 0815 hours on 1 September 2002, while the sand carrier "Shun Hong Hai 11" (順宏海11) was in the process of mooring to a barge berthed at the Hing Wah Sand Wharf at To Kwa Wan, the starboard mooring line made fast to the barge "Chi Lee" parted where it passed around the bollard. A hook used to secure the mooring line on the bollard bounced back to the vessel, hitting the Chief Officer who was standing at the port aft of the foredeck taking charge of the mooring operation. The Chief Officer suffered severe injuries to his left hand and chest and was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. Five days later on 6 September 2002, he died in the hospital.

1.2 In the incident, the starboard mooring line was a wire rope of about 16 mm in diameter. It was led from the starboard mooring winch situated athwart at the starboard aft of the foredeck and passed through two fairleads, one at the starboard side and the other at the starboard bow before reaching the port aft bollard on the barge. Unlike the port mooring line which ended with a loop, the end of the starboard mooring line was joined by a shackle with a grommet strop (Fig. 1) on which a hook was carried. The size of the grommet strop could not be ascertained as it was lost in the incident. However, according to the sailors, the grommet strop was about 1 m in circular length and 12 mm in diameter. After stretched to form double wires, the grommet strop was passed around the port bollard of the barge and its end was hooked onto the mooring line by means of the hook it carried.

2.   Findings 

2.1 The most probable cause of the accident is the failure of the grommet strop used to fasten the starboard mooring line during the mooring operation, as a result of a substantial reduction in strength induced by severe bending of its wire rope in passing through the shackle and the hook. The hook released from the parted grommet strop bounced off and hit the deceased working on the foredeck of the Vessel. If proper seamanship practice using a looped mooring line over the bollard had been adopted, the accident would have been avoided.

3.   The Lesson 

3.1 Important lesson should be learnt from this incident :- 

(i) In mooring operation, attention should be paid on the importance of observing the safe seamanship practice associated with mooring wire.

 Grommet Strop

 

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