Anchor flukes getting stuck with shell creating tension while berthing
March,2008, ship was calling at Port Maladi in D R Congo. Congo river had strong currents and also shallow patches. Strict and controlled monitoring was required. Also at Maladi, no tugs were available, hence the vessel had to berth with the help of anchors. Ship was to be berthed on stbd side, hence port anchor was asked to be kept ready. Master informed chief officer to lower the port anchor upto the water level. Chief officer tried, but the anchor was not moving. In the last port of call, it was perfectly OK, but did not function at Port Maladi.
Chief officer could not find any reason, informed bridge that port anchor not responding. Chief Engineer was requested to attend the problem, he found that flukes got stuck with the shell and informed bridge accordingly and also informed that it may take some time. Master informed the pilot accordingly and since there were no other vessels ahead of this ship, pilot agreed and berthed the vessel safely.
Lesson learnt :
proper operation of machinery, inspection and maintenance at regular intervals are necessary.