(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) At about 2235 on 30 August 2021, the chief officer (C/O) of the Isle of Man registered general cargo vessel Teal Bay was fatally injured when he was struck on the head by a tensioned mooring line that sprang out of an open roller fairlead. Teal Bay was loading grain when moored alongside an anchored bulk carrier. The mooring line was being used to pull Teal Bay forward and it sprang free when its lead angle became too great for the open fairlead to restrain it.
The C/O was struck because he was standing in a hazardous area close to a mooring line under significant tension. The operation to move Teal Bay forward had not been risk-assessed and was undertaken with insufficient crew. The use of an open roller fairlead was inappropriate during a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer operation where a freeboard differential between the two vessels was foreseeable and created the hazard of a high lead angle on mooring lines.
Since the accident, Teal Bay’s management company, V.Ships Ship Management (India), has conducted additional safety training with the vessel’s crew, issued a fleetwide safety alert to highlight the issues raised by this accident report, and set out a plan for replacement of open fairleads on its vessels. V.Ships has also amended its safety management procedures and generic risk assessments to include STS transfer of bulk cargoes.
Additionally, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has undertaken to amend the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers to include guidance recommending that open fairleads are not used where there is a mooring line upward lead angle. A recommendation has been made to the Isle of Man Ship Registry to promulgate the safety lessons in this report to vessels on its register.
For more details, click below to download the full UK MAIB investigation report: