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A tugboat was pulling a ship off a ground. When the ship was finally freed, the tugboat master ordered the tow line to be thrown off and no machine manoeuvres were permitted during the time that the cable and line were wound onto the tugboat. This was done in consultation with the pilot and the master of the ship. When the line was loose and lying in the water, the tugboat again announced that absolutely no machine manoeuvres were to be carried out, and the pilot gave the order to the master. Despite all of this, the line was suddenly sucked down into the ship’s propeller; the master, on his own initiative and despite the order not to start manoeuvring, had carried out manoeuvres both forwards and backwards. The result was that the line and the wire were very quickly stretched and the tugboat’s chief mate, who was standing on deck, could not duck fast enough and was hit by the cable in his face. He was taken to hospital to have his head injuries examined and was lucky to have escaped with severe bruising to his face and a slightly damaged tooth.

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