5.9 MOORING THE SHIP
The deck crew should be called to their stations well enough in advance
of arrival at the dock to complete all mooring preparations. This is
particularly important where the timing of the arrival or weather has
prevented them from preparing mooring equipment during the previous
If the master and officers are unfamiliar with the berth, the pilot
should be consulted regarding the anticipated mooring operation. A diagram
showing the vessel's mooring winches and capstans should be used to
sketch the dock mooring arrangements and indicate the running of mooring
lines. A copy of this diagram should be supplied to each officer who
will be involved in the mooring operation. The pilot must be informed
of any deficiencies in the vessel's mooring equipment. Adequate personnel
must be provided to ensure the efficient handling of lines.
The mooring plan developed by the master and pilot must be sufficient
to address the minimum requirements of the petroleum terminal, owner's
requirements, anticipated weather, passing traffic and stresses of tidal
currents. The mooring plan agreed should be in accord with the OCIMF
Guidelines and recommendations for the safe mooring of large ships
at piers and sea islands. The preferred mooring plan provides for
long mooring leads to mooring points level with the mid-draft height
of the mooring deck and includes two or three substantial breast lines
at bow and stern.
Each deck officer should carefully examine the mooring equipment before
it is put into use. Any damaged mooring wires, rope tails or fibre lines
should be put aside. The condition of the winch brakes should be examined
and the officer should note any defects in his deck book for the information
of the chief officer.
Where fibre lines are used, they should be all of the same material
and construction to provide even stress and elongation.
Most large tankers are fitted with wire mooring lines on self-stowing
winch drums. These lines are heavy and can be dangerous to shore and
ship mooring crews if not properly handled. A clear set of hand signals
must be agreed between the officer and his crew so that the winches
can be operated safely without the use of voice commands. Long leads
are preferred for these mooring lines, both to reduce the amount of
line tending required and because the holding power of the brakes is
inversely related to the amount of wire on the winch drum (ie. more
wire on the drum equals less brake holding power).
Mooring lines should not be heaved tight until all members of the shore
crew have moved clear of the line and the mooring point. When the line
is tight, the brake should be set to the approved tension and the tension
gauge (if fitted), observed after setting to ensure that there is no
loss of brake pressure.
Self tensioning winches should not be used in the automatic mode after
vessel is all fast, as they may not perform properly to keep the ship
The vessel is considered properly moored when the manifold is aligned
with the shore loading system and the parallel mid-body of the ship
is firmly in contact with the fender face of the berth over the maximum
length possible. The most effective method for preventing the ship from
moving along the dock is to maintain it tight against the fenders using
the breast lines and spring lines. Head and stern lines are relatively
inefficient in mooring vessels when compared to breast and spring lines.
5.9.1 Emergency release
During the mooring operation, the master should evaluate the procedures
he would use to complete an emergency departure from the berth. After
mooring is complete, this procedure should be discussed with the shore
terminal operator to determine if there is an recommended terminal emergency
disconnect procedure. When the master has developed a procedure to his
own satisfaction he should discuss it with the chief officer and direct
that it be included in the chief officer's cargo orders.
Part of the emergency release preparation is proper placement of the
towing off wires, or 'fire' wires. These should be positioned at the
offshore bow and offshore quarter. The wire should be properly made
fast on a set of bitts in a figure-of-eight fashion. The inboard eye
should not be placed over the bitt. The remainder of the wire should
be laid out on deck in one or two bights, free for running, with the
outboard eye through a side chock and suspended at the water's edge
by a lashing of rope yarn or light line which the tug can easily break
to pay out the slack. The towing off wires must be tended each time
the mooring lines are adjusted so that the eye is maintained at or near
the surface of the water.
5.9.2 Anchor and gangway
If the anchor has been backed out ready for letting go while approaching
the berth and mooring, it should be brought home and secured after the
ship is all fast. Heaving lines and messenger lines should be retrieved
and properly stowed. Where the vessel is moored with fibre lines, stoppers
should be placed at each set of mooring bitts in use.
When the mooring operation is complete, the ship's mooring crew will
prepare and swing out the ship's gangway, unless a better shore gangway
is available from the terminal. The gangway must be landed in an area
on the dock which provides adequate space for movement of the shore
end due to changes in tide and vessel freeboard. It must be properly
secured at the ship end, fitted with adequate hand rails and a safety
netting and marked with a sign reading:
No open lights
If the gangway is aluminum, it should not be permitted to rest with
the aluminum framing directly in contact with ship's steel hand rails.