Mooring lines play an essential role in securing vessels to docks. These lines sometimes snap due to repeated wear or misuse, which can lead to catastrophic results. In this case, Pacific Maritime Magazine describes a recent innovation that could possibly save the lives of maritime workers.
Anti-snapback rope is one possible solution, which its creators claim could prevent serious injuries from occurring. This was the case for two maritime workers who lost their lives while winching a vessel along a dock. While it was claimed the two dock workers were in incorrect positions during the operation, the fact remains that mooring lines are known to snap in all types of situation.
This has much to do with corrosion caused by stress on lines. A weakened line is a ticking time bomb in essence, as workers may have no indication of an issue until the line snaps. Not only does this pose a risk to workers, it can also be hazardous for guests aboard a cruise ship. People on cruise ships are often in close proximity to mooring lines and have no idea the risk involved.
A rope fuse is the proposed fix in this case. These grommet-like devices can be fitted onto lines to prevent snapping from occurring, whether related to wear and tear or another issue. Instead of the rope snapping, the fuse causes it to bend harmlessly, which prevents both serious injuries as well as property damage. The inventor likened it to the way an electrical fuse works, in that a circuit breaker will trip when there is an issue, thereby preventing a fire from breaking out.