Tug and Tow – A Practical Safety and Operational Guide

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Tug and Tow – A Practical Safety and Operational Guide

This booklet has been produced by the Club in response to the increasing number of claims and incidents arising from towage operations which have resulted in injuries, groundings, collisions, pollution, property damage and loss of cargo.

From 20th February 2011 to 20th February 2013 all claims incidents notified to the Club were analysed for primary cause. Throughout the booklet we have included cases that were highlighted in this study with the aim to share the Club’s experiences so that other Members may prevent a similar event from occurring.

Most tug and barge safety regulations focus on hardware and yet experience shows that a good safety record depends upon the safety culture of the entire company. The hardware issues are important, including the proper maintenance and inspection of equipment, but managing the human factor successfully would also lessen the number of accidents.

This guide is drawn from the accumulation of experience within the Club and from industry sources including IMO MSC/Circ 8841 (Guidelines for Safe Ocean Towage). It highlights good towing practices and illustrates learning points from reported incidents. It is general in nature and is not intended to replace regulatory requirement, specific company procedures and guidelines, or what is learnt from simulator training and is intended to assist crews to perform a safe towing operation.