A red tag placed on a mooring would have been placed there by the Harbourmaster's Office if the mooring is unsafe to use. This will usually be because the mooring is out of service.
For specific information or if you have any queries, please call the Harbourmaster's Office during standard office hours on 0800 002 004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and quote the mooring number.
There have recently been some cases of mooring failures due to the top ropes being damaged by twisting against the lay of the rope. Mooring systems employing Fergie buoys or similar (where the top rope passes through the buoy) with three strand rope appear to be more prone to this problem. Such mooring systems should as a minimum, be fitted with a swivel between the top rope and the intermediate chain to alleviate twisting, and it is advisable to have an additional swivel fitted above the buoy. However swivels may not always run freely enough to eliminate the problem.
Mooring owners using Fergie buoys or similar are urgently advised to check their top ropes for any signs of twisting or hockling (where the rope eventually folds back on itself) as it will weaken the rope and may even allow any splices to slip free. Multiplait rope is preferable for use with these types of buoys as the splices will not unlay when twisted.
The regional council's Mooring Contractors have been made aware of the potential problem, and any mooring owner who has evidence of such an occurrence should contact their respective mooring contractor.
In any event top ropes are the most frequent source of mooring failure, and should be checked regularly for any signs of wear, chafing twisting or other damage.