DNV GL and Partners Address Anchoring Safety

DNV GL, Gard and The Swedish Club have been investigating a rising number of anchor losses reported over the last several years.

Namely, the root cause of many groundings and collisions, lost anchors are among the top five reasons for claims costs.

Based on an analysis of damage cases involving anchor and anchor chain losses, the project partners have issued a presentation identifying the most frequent technical and operational causes, and some steps crews and operators can take to address them.

“One of the key takeaways of our investigation is the importance of the officers and crew being aware of the environmental loads their equipment is designed for,” says Håkon Skaret, senior principal engineer at DNV GL. “If these limits are not taken account of in shipboard anchoring procedures, there can be significant damage to the vessel – even beyond the loss of anchor and chain. Many anchor losses are avoidable, if the proper maintenance and handling procedures are adhered to.”

The investigation

Examining the losses in terms of technical or operational failures revealed some key issues. On the technical side, the D-shackle is the technical component with the highest loss causing failure rate. As such it should be inspected whenever possible, with special attention paid to the taper pin. Securing the anchor tightly in the hawse pipe during voyage can help to avoid excessive vibrations which can cause the pin to come loose. The windlass brake is essential to control the pay-out of the chain, and many anchor losses are reported due to loss of brake power and uncontrolled release of the chain. Corrosion of the drum and wear of the brake band lining reduces brake capacity and it is therefore essential that the tension of the brakes is adjusted and liners replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

“Operationally, every anchoring operation is unique,” says Skaret. “In practice, the crew and officers need to be aware of the risks and assess them thoroughly, especially in heavy weather. In almost half of the cases we saw that environmental risk factors, such as the weather, strength of the currents and water depth, played a significant role in the loss. To help shipboard personnel in this respect, shipping companies can make sure that procedures for safe anchoring operations are implemented in their safety management systems.”

Anchor and chain loss can often lead to collisions and grounding, which can result in additional damage to a vessel. Adding to the costs of anchor loss is the increasingly common requirement from port authorities that lost anchors are recovered.

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6th Offshore Well Intervention Conference Gulf of Mexico

The Offshore Well Intervention Gulf of Mexico conference (OWI GOM) is returning to Houston, Texas for its sixth year on Wednesday 20 – Thursday 21 November.

Featuring Anadarko, BP, Shell, Chevron, BHGE and Oceaneering, the conference aims to help operators transition to the latest compliance updates, WI systems and business models that enhance safety, quicken well access and improve commerciality.

Across two days, more than 200 delegates, 15 exhibitors and 30 speakers will network together and create solutions to some of the most pertinent industry challenges right now, through a conference programme focused on:

  1. Clarifying compliance updates
  2. Quicker well access and safer well control
  3. ​Understanding HPHT well intervention (systems)
  4. Forecasting well intervention activity, discussing new commercial models and comparing platform options
  5. Best practice riserless well intervention
  6. ​The latest well intervention equipment

For registration, speaking or sponsorship enquiries contact Abigail Clifton on aclifton@offsnet.com; +44 (0) 203 793 8800.

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Europort 2019

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