Monthly Safety Scenario (MSS)

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Monthly Safety Scenario (MSS)

The Monthly Safety Scenario (MSS) is a Loss Prevention initiative to assist members in their efforts to comply with international safety regulations and to follow best practices.

The Club is publishing, every month, a new Monthly Safety Scenario (MSS) to assist owners in their efforts to comply with the above regulations. Alternative scenarios will be uploaded in SCOL. It is easy to download the MSS and enter the written conclusions from the meeting and send feedback to the shore-based organisation.

Right-click on the link below and select “Save target as...“ to save the pdf file on your computer.

MSS Case September: Loss of anchor in bad weather

Crew on handheld radioThe vessel was waiting for its berth to become available, so the decision was made to anchor. A pre-anchor briefing was held on the bridge, regarding how many shackles should be used and different tasks allocated to the crew during the anchoring operation.

One week earlier the bosun had inspected the windlass including the brake linings and had reported that all was in good condition.

The weather forecast warned about rough weather the following day. The Master informed the bridge team that he would make a final decision later.

The anchoring party consisted of the Chief Officer, bosun and two ABs. The bosun was controlling the brake and the Chief Officer was reporting to the bridge, and giving orders to the bosun and ABs.

This was the first time the crew had anchored at this anchorage. The vessel approached the dedicated anchor position which the VTS had given them. When the vessel had stopped the Chief Officer ordered the bosun to walk the anchor out using the windlass motor. When the anchor was about half a shackle above the seabed it was let go.

During the night the weather deteriorated and the OOW realised that the vessel was dragging. He called the Master who came up on the bridge. The weather was now rapidly worsening, and the Master woke up the Chief Officer and told him to assemble the anchor party and heave up the anchor.

The weather had now increased to Beaufort 8 and the bow was slamming because of the large waves. Suddenly, while the anchor was being heaved up the windlass motor stopped, and smoke was seen coming out of it. It became obvious that the motor could not be fixed straight away. At the same time the weather was deteriorating even further so it was decided that the anchor chain should be cut. After the chain had been cut the vessel left the anchorage and drifted at sea instead.

The vessel was not allowed to continue its journey until the anchor and chain had been replaced. The vessel had a spare anchor but the operation to replace it and the chain took several days. The port authorities also demanded that the anchor should be recovered. A salvage company was hired to retrieve the lost anchor and chain.

Read and study the questions in the latest Monthly Safety Scenario.

Under the ISM requirement, owners are obliged to carry out monthly safety meetings or safety committee meetings onboard their vessels. This obligation stems from Chapter 5 of the ISM Code: “Master’s responsibility and authority” and furthermore from “5.1.2, motivating the crew in the observation of that policy”.

The obligation can also be derived from the Code of “Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen”, where it is stated that the safety committee should meet regularly: “3.13.2, The frequency of meetings will be determined by circumstances but as a general guideline, the committee should meet about every 4-6 weeks”.

For more Loss Prevention information, please contact:

Joakim Enström
Loss Prevention Officer
Tel: +46 31 638 445
Mobile: +46 763 217 666

Scenarios archive (available in SCOL)




  • December - Severely burned in an onboard explosion
  • November - Overflow while bunkering
  • October - Indonesian coal self-ignited during discharge
  • September - Broken davit wire on rescue boat
  • August - Machinery failure caused collision with sea lock
  • July - Tide caught pilot by surprise
  • June - Swept away by large wave
  • May - Pilot forgot about moved buoy
  • April - Misdeclared container caused fire
  • March - Engine failure caused grounding
  • February - Lack of cooperation lead to grounding


  • December - Severely burned crew member dies
  • November - Contact with a crane during berthing
  • October - Machinery failure
  • September - Cargo flooding from the ballast tank
  • August - Injury by forklift
  • July - Rescue boat drill injuries
  • June - Grounding when not using bridge equipment effectively
  • May - Oil spill while bunkering
  • April - Collision in busy anchorage after grounding
  • March - Unfinished arrival checklist lead to severe damage
  • February - Heavy weather causes grounding in the archipelago
  • January - Lack of cooperation led to grounding

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