Mooring Operations

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Seafarers and shore personnel continue to be injured or killed during mooring operations. In the five policy years to 2021, the International Group Clubs were notified of 858 injuries and 31 fatalities during mooring operations. The ISM Code, the safe working practices of Merchant Seafarers (COSWP) and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) Mooring Equipment Guidelines have helped to tackle technical aspects of mooring operations.

The resources provided below have been produced by the Club to assist Members and crew with preventing such incidents from occurring.

Resources from the Shipowners’ Club

Guidance on snap-back zones

Risk assessments for mooring operations

Mooring accidents involving non-designated crew

Damage caused by fouled lines

Article: Limitation of liability for marinas – the importance of having a well thought out mooring plan


Resources from The International Group of P&I Clubs

This animation focuses on the human factors and influencing circumstances on human performance in the lead up to and during mooring operations.

Stop, Think, Stay Alive
Mooring Operations 

Scenarios of the Mooring Operations Animation

The overriding message, of the animation is Stop, Think, Stay Alive and each scenario is accompanied by guidance notes.

Everyone involved needs to be confident about the workplan for any operation. Individual experience levels and abilities should be known and understood by all involved in the operation. If there are any doubts about the operation or procedure, ask for clarification.

Guidance notes

Understanding the operation and risks


Plans can change at short notice and require a dynamic response. It is important that time is taken to reassess the risks, to ensure that operations can still be performed safely and with sufficient resources. Do not cut corners on safety.

Guidance notes

The impact of time pressure

Your professional experience is invaluable, but don’t disregard best practice because you’ve never seen or been involved in an incident on the mooring deck before. The risks will still exist.

Guidance notes

Staying aware of risks 

When there is lots to be done, in a fastmoving stressful work environment, you may automatically rush to do tasks quickly. It can result in losing situational awareness and overlooking important safety precautions.

Guidance notes

Rushing tasks


Pressure from others can result in stress, leading to poor decision making and safety critical steps being missed. Masters should feel empowered to use their overriding authority when there are legitimate safety concerns.

Guidance notes

Using master’s overring authority

The company’s culture must allow and encourage everyone, regardless of rank or experience, to speak up when in doubt and stop the job if they think that something is unsafe.

Guidance notes

Speaking up when in doubt