Marine safety issues and actions

TT-Line Company procedures

Issue number: MO-2016-001-SI-01
Who it affects: All ship masters and deck officers
Issue owner: TT-Line Company
Transport function: Marine: Shipboard operations
Background: Investigation Report 324-MO-2016-001
Issue release date: 11 May 2017
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

Enhancements to ship operating procedures should improve the ability to hold the ship alongside and provide for swifter response to changing weather conditions. In addition, improved analysis and notification of weather conditions, forecasts and warnings should allow ships’ crew to be better informed and hence better prepared. The review of the mooring arrangements should further inform and complement these changes.

Safety issue description

The adverse weather procedures for TT-Line Company ships when alongside did not take into account all the necessary factors to provide effective defences against significant, short-term weather events such as thunderstorms and squalls.

Proactive Action

Action number: MO-2016-001-NSA-001
Action organisation: TT-Line Company
Date: 11 May 2017
Action status: Closed

TT-Line Company advised the ATSB that subsequent to the initial internal investigation, TT-Line focused on three areas:


TT-Line Company have updated and expanded procedures in relation to weather preparations and responses at Station Pier.

This includes:

  • all mooring lines to be held on the winch brake, not in self-tension
  • for winds over 30 knots (in the backing quadrant – NxE to SxE) the bridge is to be manned and passenger and cargo operations scaled back
  • the stern thruster will be engaged for winds over 35 knots (NW to S)
  • the wind alarm fitted outside the master’s cabin is to alarm instantaneously at a wind velocity of 35 knots
  • the wind alarm can only be disabled if the bridge is constantly manned

The procedural review is ongoing and changes are to continue based upon the outcomes of the mooring investigations.

Weather notification

TT-Line Company advised the ATSB that they have improved the ship and company methods and reliability of weather and associated warning notification.

The company has entered agreements with the Bureau of Meteorology and a third party weather warning company to supply forecasts and warnings to masters and chief mates for areas in which the ships operate.

Masters and chief mates, as well as the company DPA, will receive direct email notice from the Bureau of Meteorology of wind and storm warnings and local waters and thunderstorm forecasts for the Melbourne area. They each have been issued with a dedicated smart phone to which the Bureau of Meteorology will send SMS warnings with audible alerts for winds over 25 knots.

Mooring arrangements

TT-Line Company advised the ATSB that they have commenced an in-depth review and analysis of the mooring arrangements used at Station Pier. This has included engaging 2 external companies to conduct assessment, analysis and simulations of the mooring conditions and arrangements. The aim is to achieve recommendations on the optimal operating parameters including changes to berthing arrangements and infrastructure if necessary.

In addition to these analyses, all mooring lines have been changed to the same type and specifications, with breaking load of 96t.

ATSB comment:

Changes to mooring arrangements and ship operating procedures will improve the capacity to hold the ship alongside and provide for swifter response to changing conditions. In addition to this, improved analysis and notification of weather conditions, forecasts and warnings will allow the master and crew to be more aware of and better prepare for changes in weather. These actions and those in progress will reduce the likelihood that a similar wind event will lead to the ship breaking away in the future.

Last update 11 May 2017