The Standard P&I club has issued a safety bulletin to warn ships about the dangers of poor anchoring

Ship’s crews who fail to observe the correct procedures for anchoring are costing lives, causing pollution and responsible for extensive grounding damage, according to new safety guidance from the Standard P&I Club.

Incidents can also harm the reputations of ship owners, said the Club.

A safety bulletin sent to Club members described what can go wrong.

‘Accidents caused by poor anchoring are invariably the result of human error. Anchoring is a relatively simple exercise but it has to be done properly. One of our aims in producing this guide is to again remind seafarers to do what they have already been trained to do,’ said the Club’s safety and loss prevention director Chris Spencer.

Commercial pressure, he said, is often at least partly to blame for accidents. Masters may, for example, choose to remain anchored outside port even when the weather conditions deteriorate rather than move to a less convenient location.

‘The master’s overriding responsibility is to the safety of his vessel and crew. This requires the active engagement of senior company managers,” said Spencer.