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TOWING OPERATIONS AND SAFETY. January 2012. CANADIAN COAST GUARD AUXILIARY - PACIFIC. Towing Operations. Towing Operations Standard. Maintain positive control of the vessel and crew throughout. Foster teamwork and assign duties to crew.
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TOWING OPERATIONS AND SAFETY January 2012 CANADIAN COAST GUARD AUXILIARY - PACIFIC
Towing Operations Standard • Maintain positive control of the vessel and crew throughout. • Foster teamwork and assign duties to crew. • Possess a mastery of all tow concepts and understand the inherent risks. • Be aware of towing policies. • Ensure full communications through entire tow. • Monitor situations and anticipate events.
Towing Operations • The towing policy agreed with Canadian Coast Guard is that towing operations will only take place when no alternative assistance is available, and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre gives permission.
Towing Operations • Whenever possible a towing waiver should be signed, or where not possible a verbal waiver obtained over the radio.
Casualty Checklist • Number of POB and condition • Nature of problem • Condition of the vessel and any flooding • Towing Waiver • Any possible hazards in the wards (lines, anchors, nets) • Suitable fixture on board to tow from • Hull speed of casualty
Crew Briefing Checklist • Assign duties • Properly dressed and equipped (no gloves) • Approach to be used • Method of passing messenger or towline • Emergency manoeuvres • Use of drogue (if any)
Casualty Crew Briefing Checklist • Everyone to wear PFDs or lifejackets • Method of passing messenger or towline • Communications (main and emergency) methods established • Every one to stay clear of towline • Use of drogue (if any)
Approaches 1 • In heavy seas or if the casualty is drifting fast, and lying beam to the wind, the approach can be crossing the T, with the rescue vessel heading directly into the wind, across the bow of the casualty. The line is passed just before crossing.
Approaches 2 • Alternatively in calmer seas, with the casualty lying beam to the wind, the rescue vessel can make an approach 45 degrees different to that of the casualty degrees, across the bow and into the wind, passing the line just before crossing the bow of the casualty.
Approaches 3 • In good weather or when there is little drift, the rescue vessel can make a parallel approach, close and upwind of the casualty • The towline is passed when abeam and the rescue vessel stops just ahead to make fast the line.
Approaches 4 • As a last resort the rescue vessel can come astern onto the bow of the casualty. • Care must be taken that any wash from the stern way does not take the towline into the propellers.
Passing the Towline • In fair conditions the rescue vessel will likely be able to go alongside the casualty and pass the tow line over for making fast. • In slightly adverse conditions, a close approach can be made and the tow rope thrown over to the casualty.
Passing the Towline • In adverse conditions a heaving line may be used - indeed it may be used at any time. This line should not be aimed directly at those on board but rather where it can be grabbed by those on board the casualty. • Control the amount of towline in the water so not too much ends up in the water near the propellers.
Passing the Towline • Where none of these methods may be applicable, another method is to attach the heaving line (long enough to reach the casualty) to a scotchman or other floating object, and float the line to the casualty.
Making Fast Towline • When making fast the towline, make sure that everyone makes fast the towline the same way at your station. • This means that the danger area will always be in the same place.
Making Fast Towline 1 One full turn anti clockwise around the post, under both ears and then above starboard ear
Making Fast Towline 2 First part of first figure eight, under port ear, up and over
Making Fast Towline 3 Second part of first figure eight, under starboard ear, up and over.
Making Fast Towline 4 First part of second figure eight, under port ear, up and over.
Making Fast Towline 5 Take line around under starboard ear, around back of tow post, and back over the top of the port ear.
Making Fast Towline 6 Tighten up loop around. Line may be held, or dropped to hang under lines own weight
Making Fast Towline 7 The DANGER AREA if the line breaks, is everywhere to the starboard side of the tow post and aft of the tow post. The line handler is to stand to port side and forward of the tow post.
Towing Speed • The following speeds are obtained from 1.34 Waterline Length • Safe Towing Speed is 10% less
Thinking Ahead • Once the tow is underway, encourage the line handler to communicate the status of the tow. • Plan ahead for any possible emergencies, as well as giving plenty of warning of when it likely that the tow will need shortening, and the change over to an alongside tow.
Towing Safety Standard • Identify potential failures, hazards and dangerous situations. • Understand the application, capabilities and limitations of the towing gear, and towing points of both vessels, including safe working loads of line and strong points. • Approach towing situations with extreme caution and safety, and recognise situations beyond capabilities of vessel and crew.
On Scene Dangers • Danger signals include: 1. Casualty vessel too close to rocks or shore in adverse weather conditions. 2. Casualty vessel with neutral or negative buoyancy or presently very slight positive buoyancy, which may become neutral or negative with time or movement.
On Scene Dangers 3. Casualty vessel of wood construction of wood which might fall apart on towing off if aground. It may be better to wait for the vessel to refloat. 4. Possibility of underwater damage which might worsen on refloating 5. Casualty vessel in too poor condition to safely tow.
On Scene Dangers 6. Casualty vessel too large/ heavy to safely tow, especially if partially flooded. 7. Weather conditions on route to closest port too bad. Seek suitable alternative safe port.
Towing Safety • If it is decided to tow a vessel with low stability, and permission is given, all necessary precautions must taken on board the rescue vessel, so that if the tow goes wrong, that the line can be cut or let go without delay.
Towing Safety • There must be an appreciation of the safe working load and breaking strain of the tow rope fitted on the rescue vessel, and how that works with the loading imposed by a vessel being towed. • For polypropylene line
Towing Safety • Similar appreciation needs to be had for the strength of the rescue vessel’s tow post and hull in the vicinity of the tow post.
Towing Safety • When performing the SAP, an appreciation must be made of the casualty vessel, and is it in a fit state to be towed. • What strong points are there - windlass, cleats, cabin structure, keel stepped mast? • What is the state of its rudder if any - is the rudder or steering jammed? • Is any person on board the casualty vessel able to properly make fast the tow line?
Towing Safety • Specialised towing methods of halliard towing and anchor towing are contained in 5.05 Damage Control, Capsized and Grounded Vessels