In my last vessel, we had this strange problem of a stuck anchor in the hawse pipe.
The starboard anchor (weight approx. 10 Metric tons) which had not been used for some time , was stuck !!
We left the chain little slack overnight hoping that the anchor would come off with its weight. It did not. Next morning ,company advised the Master to try and heave up and lower the port anchor repeatedly to create vibrations which might dislodge the stuck starboard anchor from its place, even this did not help. The Chief officer, Bosun etc tried with ropes slipped around a fluke , to move the anchor .The engines were used along with lowering /heaving up off port anchor,to create vibrations , nothing worked.
And since calling a tug to move the anchor seemed expensive in the anchorage off Montevideo , the company allowed CE to try out my earlier proposal of pushing it out hydraulically. Earlier they had denied the permission citing safety concerns!! We made a contraption consisting of a pipe ,a manual hydraulic jack and a fabrication to prevent the pipe from sliding. We kept the anchor chain a little slack ,and with the help of the jack pushing against the pipe ,which in turn was resting on the d-shackle of the anchor , we could successfully push the anchor out.
The attached snaps shall make it clear.
It is always prudent to keep trying both anchors even when you might need to anchor only one particular anchor repeatedly. That way we can avert such situations.
Contributed by – Debabrata Pattrea, C/E
Categories: Service experience