Issues caused by poorly constructed heaving lines

Shipowners’ P&I Club warns about the weight capacity of heaving lines. This image was released by the United States Navy
Shipowners’ P&I Club warns about the weight capacity of heaving lines. This image was released by the United States Navy

The Shipowners’ P&I Club is keen to draw the attention of operators to the use of poorly constructed heaving lines with particular focus on the weights being used on the end of them. These can cause severe injury to crew or damage to the vessel on impact. The same can be said for heavy objects enclosed within monkeys fists which can result in similar injuries.

The ‘Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers’ Chapter 26 section 26.3.5 states:
“To prevent personal injury to those receiving heaving lines, the ‘monkey’s fist’ should be made with rope only and must not contain added weighting material. Safe alternatives include a small high-visibility soft pouch, filled with fast-draining pea shingle or similar, with a weight of not more than 0.5 kg. Under no circumstances is a line to be weighted by items such as shackles, bolts or nuts, or twist locks”.

The Shipowners’ P&I Club also issued a reminder that the use of such prohibited weights at the end of heaving lines may lead to prosecution.

Members may find the recent Safety Bulletin issued by the UK Government on this subject helpful.

The Safety Bulletin issued by the MCA (UK Government) on this subject can be read here: Safety_Bulletin__No_2_Dangerously_Weighted_Heaving_Lines_28.09.2015_rev4

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