Barbed Wire Can Pose a Risk While Berthing

Entangled fencing used as an anti piracy precaution may suddenly come free from the fender or break while docking, posing a potential threat for crew or linesmen. It could also lead to a potential claim from the port if port fenders are damaged.

Mars pays attention to the risks of barbed wire in a recent report. A transcript of the incident:

A low-freeboard vessel arrived at port with barbed wire on the ship’s side as an anti piracy precaution. While docking, the barbed wire came into contact with the dock fenders and was in close proximity to the dock surface.

Lessons Learned

  • Check with the port about the distance of the top of port fenders from water line at low tide. It may be possible to adjust the ballast so that the barbed wire remains above the fenders.
  • If no solution is possible with the barbed wire in place, consider removing the wire before docking.

Picture (top): Barbed wire on a ship (by Sam Wilson).

Mars Reports

This is one of the May Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 201944, that are part of Report Number 321. A selection of this Report has also been published in SWZ|Maritime’s July/August issue.

Submit a Mars Report

More reports are needed to keep the scheme interesting and informative. All reports are read only by the Mars coordinator and are treated in the strictest confidence. To submit a report, please use the Mars report form and send it to mars@nautinst.org.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.