MAIB report into mooring fatality on board bulk carrier WAH SHAN, River Humber 2 October 2012

The MAIB has today published their Accident Investigation Report into the fatal injuries to crewmember Wang Ji-Yue while securing a tug's tow wire on board the bulk carrier WAH SHAN on the River Humber on 2 October 2012.

As the majority of our readers are engaged in the superyacht industry, our summary comments are mainly directed at synergies with large yachts. We would however encourage any interested seafarer to read this – and would in particular direct them to read the OCIMF publication ‘Effective Mooring', although principally directed at crews of tankers and larger vessels*.

Whilst the use of tugs is almost unheard of in the large yacht business, the handling of ropes under tension is not. This operation had all the makings of a cake and arse party. Even after the event, the Master and DPA could not agree on the safest course of action that should have been taken. Out on deck, a poorly supervised mooring team, with no apparent plan other than to ‘wing it', decisions apparently made ‘on the hoof', as it were – even taking instructions from the tug skipper and an acceptance of mooring configurations that could have been addressed in routine refits. The likelihood of these physical conditions on board a yacht are most unlikely but some thought for risk assessment and planning should be given to mooring operations and in handling sudden changes in plans.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all crewmembers are given an opportunity to read this and confirm so in your next HESS meeting minutes. I can be contacted at any time if anyone has any questions.

Kind regards

* This is available from booksellers for around £ 25.00. It was originally produced by Shell Tankers for their own crews and was little more than a pamphlet really, but very useful and not over-technical. It may be worth searching on line for ‘Shell' and ‘Effective Mooring' for a cheaper option. I did see a couple available on line which claimed to provide a free download, but I haven't tried them.