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Old 24-05-2019, 15:16   #1
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Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

1 Navy sailor dead and 4 wounded as mooring rope snaps
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Old 24-05-2019, 16:11   #2
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

How do you know it was synthetic?
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Old 24-05-2019, 16:16   #3
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

“Synthetic” covers a lot of different materials. Doubt that the navy uses any natural fiber rope.
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Old 24-05-2019, 16:51   #4
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

manila is still used, but declining
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:06   #5
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

Maybe for small stuff, doubt they use it for high load applications.
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:18   #6
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

This article is about the Korean Navy. I recall the training videos in my own US Navy days with mannequins dressed in sailor clothes being mowed down when a synthetic line parted. The visual was very effective.
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:21   #7
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

Just as an FYI - this was NOT the US navy. The vessel was Korean navy - "4,400-ton Choi Young destroyer"

also . . . . . wire rope (and steel cored rope) is not uncommon.
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:27   #8
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

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Originally Posted by JoeRobertJr View Post
This article is about the Korean Navy. I recall the training videos in my own US Navy days with mannequins dressed in sailor clothes being mowed down when a synthetic line parted. The visual was very effective.

And of course, natural fibre ropes don't stretch and snap back when they break.
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:31   #9
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

Line diameter makes a big difference too. I swapped from steel cable to synthetic on my 4x4 winch years ago because it is much safer when it lets go, some possible pain vs possible death, if struck, seemed a better outcome for me. Most of us wouldn't be using very large diameters.
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Old 24-05-2019, 18:08   #10
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

Synthetic is so general a term as to be meaningless. When I served in the Navy mooring lines were nylon braid. I assume they still are, nylon is well suited to this task because of its elasticity.

The US Navy has video of mooring lines parting, snapping back and killing sailors. We saw them in basic training. When you stretch a 3" diameter nylon line to the breaking point it's going to come back like the rubber band from hell.
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Old 24-05-2019, 19:03   #11
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

A small freighter once went ashore on Miami Beach. A friend of mine got the job of pulling her off. I went down to the beach to watch.

My friend, Walter Byrd, was on the beach and his sons were doing the job. Walter told me that the ship wasn’t going to come off until the next high tide but the owner wanted the to try right away.

A long large steel cable was shackled to a hard point on the ship. Walter told me they were going to break the cable and to have my camera ready.

The salvage vessel, SV Helen B, slowly added power, the cable came taught, then BANG, the hard point tore off the ship. The cable went springing back toward the Helen B hitting the water on the way three times. It looked like cannon fire hitting the water. Very scary and impressive.

It didn’t hit the Helen B. Walter knew what was going to happen. I got a great series of photos. Oh yeah, they got the ship off at the next high tide.
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Old 24-05-2019, 19:49   #12
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

When I was in high school, we hooked a power take off winch, connected to a 327 Chevy, to a stump, and chained the truck to an oak tree. We snapped a 3/8 inch steel cable which came back and took out the windshield of the truck.

Scared the bejesus out of us, but it was a lesson I didn't have to learn twice.
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Old 24-05-2019, 20:30   #13
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

I have watched a chain stretch and snap that was attached to a cable that we were using to try and flip an overturned large steel barge with. You didn't want to be anywhere near it when it let go. It would have cut you in half and it was amazing to see the stretch in some of the chain links afterward. We ended up using three tugboats to right the barge.
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Old 24-05-2019, 20:44   #14
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

Oilfield work boats often tie of to the rigs they service in the open sea. Consequently the mooring equipment gets worked pretty severely. A number of crew members have been killed by broken mooring line snap back. Because of it's "stretchiness" and consequent energy storage capability many operators have switched from nylon to poly mooring lines.
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Old 24-05-2019, 21:32   #15
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Re: Synthetic rope snapback: killed one, injured four

Quote:
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Oilfield work boats often tie of to the rigs they service in the open sea. Consequently the mooring equipment gets worked pretty severely. A number of crew members have been killed by broken mooring line snap back. Because of it's "stretchiness" and consequent energy storage capability many operators have switched from nylon to poly mooring lines.

Poly-what?


  • Polyester
  • Polyamide
  • Aromatic polyamide
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene
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