The Marine Safety Forum (MSF) has published a Safety Alert relating to a line of fire finger injury sustained during small boat operations. The incident occurred while the vessel was recovering the Daughter Craft after a man overboard exercise. The boatman took hold of the master link, and as he hooked the link into the Daughter Craft hook, his left index finger became caught between the master link and the lifting wire thimble, resulting in injury to the finger.
What went wrong? What were the causes?
The MSF notes that recovery operation of a rescue craft is a high-risk task and full cooperation of all involved is crucial to complete the operation without any incidents. The investigation of the incident established that:
- The lifting wire’s thimble diameter allowed the thimble to freely move all around the master Link and could move close to someone’s fingers increasing the likelihood of them being trapped;
- The procedure and risk assessment used for the task were not adequate;
- Established previous practice being followed, may have contributed to the incident.
What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?
- Investigate provision of master links that could provide a better protection to the boatmen’s hands and fingers during inserting of the master link into the rescue craft hook, by preventing the wire’s thimble from free movement;
- Review and amend as appropriate, task risk assessments and specific procedures for operation of rescue craft.
Members may wish to refer to the following incident:
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