U.K. marine accident branch issues timber deck study
After eight serious accidents involving timber carried on the decks of ships, the U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch has issued a “Timber Deck Cargo Study” that concludes with specific recommendations to reduce hazards.
Cargo loaders should “maximize friction between timber deck cargoes and hatch covers, and between tiers of packaged timber,” the study noted. “A proprietary high friction coating, applied to the tops of hatch covers, would be of great benefit in reducing the risk of cargo shift,” the investigation branch’s study explained.
“Avoid steel-on-steel coatings where possible,” the survey warned. If badly shifted timber deck cargo has to be jettisoned at sea “in stormy conditions,” the study suggests using a remote system of wiggle wires, “preferable to sending crew members out on deck to cut the lashings.”
“Although the jettisoned timber would present a hazard of other vessels, jettisoning may nevertheless be the only way to save a ship” if its timber cargo has shifted, the survey said.