Parting of mooring line on ro-ro cargo vessel Dart 8 with 1 person injured

Location: Berthing at Europort Terminal, River Thames, England.

Accident Investigation Report 12/2004

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened and actions taken:

Dart 8.pdf (978.67 kb)


At 1030, on 21 March 2004, Dart 8, a Bermudan registered roll on/roll off cargo vessel, was making fast at her usual berth on the River Thames when a mooring line parted, sprang back and seriously injured the vessel’s bosun. The wind had been blowing off the berth at a speed of about 25 knots, with occasional stronger gusts. The vessel had been stemming a strong flood tide.

Safety Issues

Detailed analysis of the rope has shown that the estimated residual minimum breaking load, prior to it parting, had reduced from 770kN to 94.2kN, less than half that required to render the winch. Visual inspection of the rope indicated severe deterioration, caused by abrasion, over a length of about 6 metres in the vicinity of where it passed around a roller fairlead. The ad hoc inspections of mooring ropes which had been carried out, had not identified the abrasion, and the consequent dangerous condition of the rope that failed.


Recommendations regarding the safe working practices associated with the use of mooring ropes, have been made to Dart 8’s managers. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is recommended to consider current concerns about mooring rope control and safety, and to issue a Marine Guidance Note (MGN) on the subject to replace the current one, M.718, which was issued in 1975.

This report was published on 15 September 2004.

Published 23 January 2015