Leading trade union Unite secured the compensation for member Kevin Renyard via its free legal help scheme with Unite law firm Thompsons Solicitors.

Kevin Renyard, aged 44, from Plymouth, Devon, was a Ship’s Rigger, and was standing on the stern of HMS Somerset to assist the ship being turned around. Mr Renyard has 21 years experience in the role of a Ship’s Rigger, and is based at Devonport.

Mr Renyard explains: “On the day of the accident I was relaying instructions by radio to the sailors on board to prevent the ship from moving too close to the dockside wall. As the ship moved, the rope suddenly fused and melted and whizzed through the hands of the sailors holding onto it. The rope flew towards me and whacked me on my right wrist, on my watch. I was taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital and was told that my wrist was fractured. I had to have an operation to put a steel plate in my wrist and six screws.”

Andy Frampton, Unite regional secretary, said: “The compensation that the MoD and Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd have agreed to pay to Kevin Renyard in an out of court settlement is fully justified. Mr Renyard has suffered a serious injury which has impacted on his working life and his social life.”

Representing Mr Renyard, Laura Murray, from Thompsons Solicitors in Bristol, said: “Mr Renyard’s injuries could have been avoided if the correct quality rope materials had been used. The appropriate materials were readily available on the day of Mr Renyard’s accident. If a proper assessment of the risks had been carried out, this accident could have been avoided.”