Qatari Ship Accident Report Published
The UK’s statutory Marine Accident Investigation Branch June 15 published its final report on the serious injury to a deck officer aboard the Qatari LNG tanker Zarga on March 2, 2015 while mooring at Milford Haven.
It found that Steelite Superline Xtra rope used for mooring in the incident was “not suitable for use as mooring lines on board Zarga and the other Q-Max vessels,” did not have the required minimum breaking load, and “failed due to tensile overload after its residual strength had been reduced.”
It found that the ship's crew could have lessened the risk of injury that day, by calling back tugs to reposition the carrier. But it also found that the Shell subsidiary managing the vessel, Stasco, should have identified the area where the officer was injured as a potential snap-back danger zone.
The injured officer was a 26-year old Indian national, who had worked on LNG carriers since 2010. He was taken off the vessel by stretcher and airlifted to hospital in a police helicopter. After major surgery and several weeks in hospital, he was repatriated to his home in India for further medical care.
MAIB said that Stasco, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, and Milford Haven Port Authority had all improved their procedures in the wake of the incident, while the 'Xtra' type of rope was removed from sale in 2015 by manufacturer Bridon which had since improved the naming of its products. The ship’s flagging authority, the Marshall Islands Maritime Administration, had also undertaken to engage with the IMO on safe mooring operations.
Qatari shipowner Nakilat has recently taken back the management of more than half the 14 LNG carriers it owns from Stasco. However MAIB does not list Nakilat among the organisations to have taken action in the report.