LTI – Fractured leg suffered during SPM Operation

Location / Date: Oman, PDO operation 21st July 2018

What Happened:

During recovery of the mooring rope from a single point mooring buoy, the mooring rope unintendingly slipped off the tug mooring bits. In doing so the mooring rope messenger line whiplashed around the leg of the IP resulting in severe injury to his leg.

Why did it happen:

When the crew was securing the mooring rope to the tie-back line after the tanker had departed, the master was concerned about the position of the tug in relation to the mooring rope and the hoses. He therefore started to manoeuvre with the port engine to turn the tug to starboard. The forward and turning movement caused the mooring rope to rapidly tighten up. Simultaneously the deck crew had connected the tie-back line to the mooring rope and had started to let go of the mooring rope, as they believed this was standard practice.

The master, did not want the crew to drop the mooring rope over the side as he was concerned the mooring rope would get entangled with the hoses. He tried several times to communicate to them not to do so. However, the attempts were unsuccessful because the PA system was not working as intended. The master started to go astern on the engines to move away from the hoses. The IP reacted to the hissing noise from the PA and stopped letting go the mooring rope, however due to the rapid build-up of tension he could not move it further down the bits and left it close to the top. The eye at this point, due to the tension moved itself upwards and slipped off. In the subsequent unintended release of the mooring rope, the mooring rope messenger line whipped around the leg of the IP causing a fracture as well as skin damages to the leg.