Marine Surveyor Consultants: Your Partner in Adapting to New IMO Regulations for Safe Mooring 🚢💡

Online Monitoring of Mooring Line Performance

Mooring operations

Mooring, which is a routine task for seafarers, has become increasingly fraught with danger in recent times, leading to a rise in accidents and injuries.

To address this issue, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued new regulations to improve safety. However, complying with these regulations places fresh responsibilities on shipowners.

Over the past few years, the frequency of safety incidents related to mooring has increased due to the sheer number of operations involved and the substantial human involvement required.

New SOLAS requirements

New SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) requirements related to mooring from the IMO were put in place due to the high number of incidents related to mooring, with the International Group of P&I Clubs recording 858 injuries and 31 fatalities during the five years leading up to 2021.

Safe mooring

To address the urgent need for enhancing the safety of mooring, the IMO has implemented amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 and introduced fresh guidelines for safer mooring, which became effective from 1st January 2024.

The new safety requirements for mooring operations, which became effective on January 1st, 2024, have been established to enhance the safety of seafarers.

The guidelines aim to improve the strength and design of mooring arrangements, including the selection, maintenance, and inspection of mooring equipment and lines.

By following these regulations, seafarers can greatly reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries associated with mooring operations. In doing so, it will give them peace of mind and confidence when performing their tasks, allowing them to concentrate on their work without the fear of harm or danger.

The new mooring requirements have an impact on the maintenance practices of the existing fleet.

The Maritime Safety Committee has introduced two new guidelines promoting safe mooring: MSC.1/Circ.1619, which highlights the importance of designing robust mooring arrangements and selecting appropriate mooring equipment, and MSC.1/Circ.1620, which offers guidance on maintaining and inspecting the mooring equipment, such as lines.

Additionally, MSC.1/Circ.1175, which pertains to shipboard towing and mooring equipment, has also been revised, providing updated guidance on the topic.

Required Actions

Ship operators must re-evaluate their current safety management systems concerning mooring equipment and lines and ensure compliance with MSC.1/Circ.1620.

The newly introduced regulations increase the predictability of line breaks.

A crucial aspect of MSC.1/Circ.1620 is the necessity for shipowners to establish Ship Design Minimum Breaking Load (MBLSD) for every vessel under their ownership. This practice provides a more precise prediction of when a mooring line is likely to break, resulting in greater safety precautions.

Under the old system, referred to as minimum breaking load (MBL), it was known that a line could break at the minimum point. However, the exact point at which the line breaks remained unpredictable since it could happen at any point above the MBL.

Mooring rope breaking range

The breaking of mooring ropes is influenced by various factors such as the design and strength of the ropes, the condition of the equipment, and external environmental factors like rough weather conditions. In the scenario where a rope breaks, it can lead to incidents such as vessel collision, running aground, or damage to equipment and property.

During testing, mooring ropes are expected to break at a deviation range of not more than 5% from the predicted breaking load. Any deviation above this acceptable level may indicate the need for further investigation of the rope and equipment or other safety measures.

Frequent inspections, proper maintenance, and replacement of ropes when necessary can help prevent rope breakages and associated incidents, ensuring the safety of seafarers and property.

The implementation of the new Ship Design Minimum Breaking Load (MBLSD) requirements will entail a switch from Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) terminology to Line Design Break Force (LDBF) structure. Under LDBF, the mooring lines will be engineered to break at a specific load, and the deviation range is expected to be no more than 5%.

Hence, mooring lines that meet the specifications of MBLSD will undergo LDBF certification instead, using the new set of standards laid out to LDBF.

As for the impact on product performance, a more accurate prediction of when the mooring lines may break will increase the safety of the vessel, reduce the occurrence of accidents and injuries related to mooring operations, and improve the overall reliability and performance of the mooring instruments.

Under the new Line Design Break Force (LDBF) system, mooring ropes are engineered to break at a specific load with a deviation range of not more than 5%. This more accurate prediction of when a mooring line will break allows for preparation and contingency planning in advance for a potential line break.

This is particularly critical in the case of synthetic ropes, which tend to store a considerable amount of energy that can result in severe injury or even death if they break and snap back. By design, the new system reduces the risks associated with unpredictable line breakages and decreases the probability of associated harm.

With LDBF, all stakeholder groups, including crew members, onshore workers, and executives, can feel more confident in the safety of their operations, which can lead to improved morale, better customer satisfaction, and more successful outcomes overall.

What can we do for you at Marine Survejor Consultant ?

Marine Surveyor Consultants assist clients with compliance to mooring regulations by conducting mooring audits, offering compliance assessments, and developing procedures.

These consultants provide clients with valuable expertise, advice, and services to ensure they comply with regulations, allowing clients to focus on their main operations with the confidence they are in line with the best practices.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information about our services and how we can help you comply with the mooring regulatory requirements while ensuring the safety and success of your operations.

Marine Surveyor Consultant Sagl

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