Queens Harbour Master Portsmouth No 14 of 2019
to Tuesday, 31 December 2019
1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN jointly by the Queens Harbour Master Portsmouth and the Harbour Master Portsmouth International Port; that Masters and crews of vessels visiting are required to use properly constructed heaving lines for all mooring and towing operations. The use of ‘weighted' heaving lines is both prohibited and extremely dangerous, and may cause serious injury or a fatality to those on the receiving end ashore or onboard a tug or mooring boat.
2. The UK Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen, Chapter 25 (25.3.2) states: “Vessels’ heaving lines should be constructed with a ‘Monkeys Fist’ at one end. To prevent personal injury the ‘fist’ should be made only with rope and should NOT contain added weighting material.”
3. There continue to be instances of weighted heaving lines being used, and this dangerous practice is causing unacceptable risk to tug crews and shore mooring teams. In view of this, pilots are to confirm to tug masters at the initial call that the assisted vessel’s master has been briefed and confirmed that weighted heaving lines will not be used. If the pilot is not able to give this assurance, then the tug master may refuse to assist the vessel, in which case the QHM’s Harbour Control Officer will delay traffic clearance to the incoming vessel until the situation is resolved.
4. Additionally, vessels’ mooring parties should always alert shore mooring gangs, tug crews or others in the vicinity prior to throwing a heaving line.
5. Masters of vessels and Agents are reminded that heaving lines with inappropriate weighting, such as pieces of metal, are not to be used under any circumstances and, if used, appropriate enforcement action will be taken as necessary.
6. Shore mooring teams and Tug Masters have instructions to cut off weighted “monkeys fists” or any added or replacement weights from heaving lines, if used. The weighted “fist” or added weight will be retained as evidence in the event of proceedings being taken against the vessel and the user.
7. Ships’ Agents are also requested to bring this Notice to the attention of Masters of all vessels using the Port.