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Marine Log

February 21, 2007

Australia announces focused inspection campaign

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is to carry out a Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) between March 1, 2007 and May 30, 2007.

Port state control inspectors will examine safety when working with mooring equipment and working on deck in heavy sea conditions.

The hazards presented by mooring operations were shown by the outcome of a joint Australian Transport Safety Bureau - Marshall Islands Maritime Authority investigation carried out into a fatality on the MV Probo Bear which found that a lack of preparedness, communication and supervision and the incorrect use of the mooring winch brake were contributing factors in the death of a crew member.

Several recent incidents have also occurred where inappropriate use of shipboard fittings for operations with lines from tugs has resulted in damage to the ship. These incidents have highlighted the need for increased awareness of correct practices and use of ship fittings.

The dangers associated with working on deck in heavy weather have been highlighted by recent incidents in Australian waters where crew members have been killed or severely injured.

Though the inspection campaign is primarily intended to raise awareness, if serious issues are noted these will be dealt with as a deficiency.

The FIC will examine the following matters:

i. Condition and maintenance of mooring fixtures, fittings and lines, including those used for securing tugs.

ii. Safety of and awareness of onboard procedures used for undertaking mooring operations.

iii. Crew knowledge of arrangements on board, including purpose and safe working load of fittings.

iv. Procedure for preparing for sea in respect of securing lines, anchors and forward stores.

v. Procedures and crew awareness of working on deck in rough conditions.