Maritime

Safe mooring

Mooring system management plan

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Mooring operations continue to pose safety risks for mooring crew and shore personnel. We help you to review and verify the effectiveness of your vessels’ mooring system design as well as on-board mooring practices. We also provide support on vetting compliance and preparedness, and, most importantly, on safer mooring operations.

The maritime industry has seen many incidents involving mooring failures over the decades, due to the high frequency of mooring operations and their high-level of human involvement.

“227 mooring related incidents reported in five years, 22% of these incidents resulted in injury.” – Australian Maritime Safety Authority

“97% of ships that had a mooring incident onboard during the last 24 months” – UK P&I Club reported in 2016

“From 1997 to 2013, 402 accidents were registered on Danish ships, with four fatalities and 43 injuries reported” – SOLAS SDC6

Facts such as these have led to an increased focus on the safety of mooring operations by the industry and regulatory bodies.

Regulation updates

Upcoming SOLAS amendments on safe mooring

Amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 and new guidelines for safe mooring for all ships were approved at MSC.101 (2019) and will be adopted soon. When it enters into force, the new SOLAS regulation will require all new ships to comply with the revised regulations for appropriate and safe-to-use designs of mooring arrangements. All existing ships shall comply with the new regulations for the in-service inspection and maintenance regime of mooring equipment and lines as well as proper documentation.

OCIMF MEG4 for tankers and gas carriers

Mooring Equipment Guidelines 4th Edition (MEG4) introduced the Mooring System Management Plan (MSMP) and recommended all tankers and gas carriers to document Ship Design MBL. Increased focus is also put on human-centric design principles, a systematic approach to design and verification of mooring equipment, and a holistic application to managing mooring lines. MSMP, including Ship Design MBL, has been adopted to SIRE vetting regime in VIQ7 which is being checked during vetting inspections.

Improved guidance for other ship types is expected

Driven by economy of scale, many new designs have become bigger over the past decade. Taking such size increases in the container and cruise segment as an example, the new designs are pushing the limit of existing regulations and guidance for safe design as well as the mooring line selection. Driven by the GHG emission reduction initiative, shore power is becoming a more rigid need, especially for cruise ships, and closer management for mooring system design is strongly needed to facilitate the risk approach for such a switch. Due to all these reasons, the industry has also identified the need for improved guidance for mooring design and operation for other ship types.

Actions to take

For tankers and gas carriers, it is recommended to perform a design review to document the MEG4 compliance level, assess and document the risks identified and take possible interim measures to manage the risks. Ship operators should generate the ship-specific MSMP as per OCIMF recommendations, including all available information and records.

For all other ship types, it is recommended to review and document the mooring system design philosophy, as well as improve understanding on system design limits across the owner’s and operator’s organization, in order to improve the safety for mooring operations.

For all ship types, DNV GL recommends the vessel operators to re-evaluate their current procedures and practices, operations and maintenance for mooring equipment and mooring line management. This should include purchasing, maintenance and retirement, as well as mooring personnel qualification and training.

For newbuilding projects: mooring equipment selection, mooring arrangement and mooring line selection should follow the holistic approach recommended in MEG4 or IACS UR A2 to ensure the design is “safe to use”.

DNV GL assists you

Our advisory team assists you in achieving better preparedness for compliance and safer operations, by utilizing our extensive experience on mooring system design criteria and mooring operational best practices.

We have developed tools to perform ship-specific mooring analysis as per the MEG4 and IACS guidelines, with the aim to establish a mooring equipment design philosophy, define Ship Design MBL and verify system compliance status.

We have developed a detailed MSMP template, which has been reviewed by oil majors and found to meet their expectations. The template is provided to ship operators free of charge on request. Request your MSMP template here >>

We can also support ship operators in reviewing their existing mooring procedures and on-board behaviour of the crew. We deploy our knowledge on human factors to perform critical task analysis, identify operational risks, and discover areas that may be improved.

Up next! We are developing an online Safe Mooring Portal which can be used as a common platform to manage ship mooring design and mooring operation. Key functions of the portal will be:

  • Ship Design MBL calculator
  • Site-specific mooring calculation
  • Mooring line management records for daily operation

The Safe Mooring Portal creates a single port of call for your mooring information management and will eventually facilitate collaboration among ship managers, crew, ports, inspectors, equipment makers and other stakeholders through a user managed sharing mechanism. The portal is due to launch in April 2020. In the meantime, interested parties can sign up here to be kept informed of the developments.

Receive effective support to improve your management on mooring:

  • Pre-vetting and post-vetting technical support
  • Assistance in MSMP preparation
  • Define Ship Design MBL, backed by mooring calculations
  • Review mooring practice on board and identify areas of improvements
  • Supporting risk assessment by calculations and technical verifications
  • Decision-making support for mooring line purchase

Contact us:

Get in touch with our mooring experts

Send your enquiry

Explore our advisory services network

Go to network

Get in touch with our safe mooring experts

Send your inquiry

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