Parting of mooring lines from ro-ro cargo ferry Stena Leader resulting in contact with quay

Location: Berthed at Larne, Northern Ireland.

Completed PE Summary: Stena Leader

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Type:   Ro-ro Ferry
Date   27/02/06
Incident Type:   Contact with Quay
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   Damage to Linkspan and Quay


The ro-ro ferry Stena Leader was blown off her berth at Larne whilst alongside loading freight, when mooring lines parted during a 44 knot gust. Main engines were at stand-by at the time of the accident and the vessel was brought under control and transferred to another berth where the cargo was discharged. During the incident the stern ramp collided with the quay damaging its hinges significantly and requiring dockyard repair. The linkspan and quay also sustained minor damage.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector has written to the managers of the Stena Leader recommending the following:

  • Review the mooring arrangement of Stena Leader to ensure that the lines and winches employed are suitable for the berth and weather conditions likely to be expected.

  • Review the mooring line inspection regime and training of the crew to ensure lines are retired in accordance with industry best practice.

  • Review the leads and handling of mooring lines to ensure abrasion is minimised and that twist is not introduced, particularly in HMPE (high modulus polyethylene) ropes.

The MAIB has commissioned further research into the potential for reduction in strength of braided HMPE rope caused by longitudinal twist.

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