A monkey’s fist can be a serious projectile. The Nautical Institute gives this warning in its latest Mars Report. In this report, a monkey’s fist, even without added weight, struck an office window.

The Nautical Institute gathers reports of maritime accidents and near-misses. It then publishes these so-called Mars (Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme) Reports (anonymously) to prevent other accidents from happening. This is one of these reports.

A tanker was approaching a jetty for berthing. While still some distance from the jetty, the first heaving line was thrown. The crew member used a strong throw as he was aware that the distance to the jetty was at the limit. His throw was so successful that it sailed even further than the edge of the jetty and struck the office window further behind.

The investigation following the incident found that the monkey’s fist was made to proper specifications without any extra weight added.

Also read: Improvised monkey fist on ship found to be dangerous

Advice from The Nautical Institute

  • This incident shows that even an unweighted monkey’s fist that conforms to accepted specifications can be a serious projectile if thrown with force.
  • As a general rule, monkey’s fists should never contain an internal extra weight. Their finished weight should be ideally under 0.5 kg.

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202415, that are part of Report Number 377. A selection of the Mars Reports are also published in the SWZ|Maritime magazine. The Nautical Institute compiles these reports to help prevent maritime accidents. That is why they are also published (in full) on SWZ|Maritime’s website.

More reports are needed to keep the scheme interesting and informative. All reports are read only by the Mars coordinator and are treated in the strictest confidence. To submit a report, please use the Mars report form.

Also read: Improvised monkey’s fist can throw a wicked punch