Monkey fist injuries
When you’re throwing a heaving line terminating with a weighted Monkey’s Fist knot, or any other heavy knot, make sure those you’re throwing it at know it’s coming.
Britannia P&I Club recently reported a case in which a stevedore was hit by a Monkey’s Fist attached to a heaving line being thrown ashore.
Says Britannia’s Risk Watch: “The heaving line was being thrown ashore during mooring operations. The officer on mooring duty shouted a warning to the stevedores on the quay, saw them start to move away and assumed they had all heard the warning. However, one stevedore,who was not wearing a hard hat, failed to hear the warning and was hit by the monkey’s fist, suffering minor injuries.
There is no suggestion that the ship’s crew did anything wrong, but it is worth bearing in mind that caution should be exercised when passing lines ashore, or to tugs, as there is an inherent risk of injury if there is a lack of attention on the part of the recipient of the line.
The Monkey’s Fist in question was filled with sand to provide extra weight. It should be noted that the Code of SafeWorking Practices for Merchant Seamen, issued by the U.K.Maritime and Coastguard Agency, recommends that monkey’s fists should be made only with rope and should not contain added weighting material.