MCA Policy - Use of (Dangerously) Weighted Heaving Lines

Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 09:51

PSS has received the following vital information from Capt Forkanul Quader, Port Liaison Policy Manager, Navigation Safety Branch Maritime & Coastguard Agency regarding the use of weighted heaving lines. The use of inappropriate materials in weighted heaving lines has continued to pose a risk during mooring operations for some time now. As a refresher, Safety in Ports (SiP) guidance document 005: Mooring, section 9.3 below states that.

 Mooring gangs should be made aware of the danger that some ship’s crew may try to increase the weight of heaving lines by attaching shackles, bolts, metal bars etc. If these are found they should be reported to the Master to be rectified - SiP005 (Published Apr 2018)

 

We, along with our members have continued to raise the issue with the MCA particularly at the Port Marine Safety Code Steering Group and the MCA has now issued a policy on reporting and management of inappropriately weighted heaving lines.  Please see MCA policy details below:

coast

 

Subject: Use of (Dangerously) Weighted Heaving Lines

The use of weighted heaving lines has become a significant concern to Ports, Terminal Operators and Tug operators, who have raised this matter via Port Marine Safety Code Steering Group and MCA’s Port Liaison Policy Manager. The reporting of such incidents to the local Marine office is key to the MCA being able to respond in an appropriate manner. As a result of significant increase in such reports, Maritime & Coastguard Agency have now initiated the following stepped approach to address the issue which is not covered by International Conventions. You will be pleased to know that this measure has been put in place in January 2018. There have been 38 reported incidents till July 2018 where MCA issued letters to warn the vessels.

Actions on Receipt of a Report: non-UK Flagged Ships

  • Harbour/Marina Authority to report the incident to the nearest Marine Office (MO).
  • Resulting in injuries to personnel - the ship should be considered for inspection in the normal manner.
  • No injuries reported – a stepped approach is considered by the Marine Office
  • A letter to be sent to the ship manager via the agent (preferably by email) highlighting the incident.
  • Marine Office to send copies of email/correspondence to the MCA Enforcement Branch and Port Liaison Policy Manager (PLPM) as soon as practicable, for their records and to consider any additional enforcement action that may be appropriate.
  • Marine Office to maintain a simple recording system of the reports and the response from the MO; to recognize repeat offenders.
  • Second Offence by the same ship – MO to consult the issue with Inspection Operations Branch and enter an unexpected factor message in THETIS [THETIS is the information system that supports the new Port State Control inspection regime (NIR)].Ship considered for inspection.
  • MO to notify PLPM and Enforcement Branch
  • Third and subsequent incident reports of the same ship – MO to refer the matter to Enforcement Branch to consider appropriate enforcement action. PLPM and Inspection Operations Branch to be kept in the copy.

Actions on Receipt of a Report: UK Flagged Ships

  • Harbour/Marina Authority to report the incident to the nearest Marine Office (MO).
  • Resulting in injuries to personnel - the ship should be considered for inspection in the normal manner.
  • No injuries reported – a stepped approach is considered by the Marine Office
  • A letter to be sent to the ship manager via the agent (preferably by email) highlighting the incident.
  • Marine Office to send copies of email/correspondence to the MCA Enforcement Branch and Port Liaison Policy Manager (PLPM) as soon as practicable, for their records and to consider any additional enforcement action that may be appropriate.
  • Marine Office to maintain a simple recording system of the reports and the response from the MO; to recognize repeat offenders.
  • MO to follow this up or by referral to the MCA Customer Service Manager (CSM) on case by case basis
  • Second Offence by the same ship - Marine Office to consult Inspection Operations Branch and consider inspection and notify PLPM and Enforcement Branch.
  • Second Offence for UK Flagged Company - MO or CSM to notify the company (DP). Discuss the issue and establish a corrective action plan.
  • Third or subsequent Offence by the same ship – MO to refer the matter to the Enforcement Branch to consider appropriate enforcement action and to notify PLPM.

Individual MO to monitor the effectiveness of the approach. Enforcement and PLPM to do the same with a view to providing timely feedback to Inspection Operations Branch.

 

 

References:

  • The Code of Safe Working Practice (CoSWP) 2016 Edition, Section 26.3.5

states: To prevent personal injury to those receiving heaving lines, the ‘monkey’s fist’ should be made with rope only and must not contain added weighting material. Safe alternatives include a small high-visibility soft pouch, filled with fast-draining pea shingle or similar, with a weight of not more than 0.5 kg. Under no circumstances is a line to be weighted by items such as shackles, bolts or nuts, or twist locks.

  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Code of Practice – Safety and Health in Ports, Section 6.13, Mooring Operations, Para 12 states: A “monkey’s fist” at the end of a heaving line should only be made of rope. Additional weights should never be added to it.
  • The MCA Published safety alert titled “Dangerously Weighted Heaving Lines 28 September 2015” which may be found by using the following link -https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maritime-and-coastguardagency- mca-safety-bulletins

 

 

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