h. With all lines and personnel clear, trip the stopper and transfer the tow to the receiving tug.
i If a messenger was used in Step "f," the receiving tug will make the final connection to the tow pendant on its own stern.
3-6 INSPECTION OF TOW
Elements of the tow's material condition should be visually inspected and continuously monitored. They include.
a. Flooding alarms, draft marks, heel and trim
b. Timing of roll period for stability.
The towline should be inspected frequently for chafing and damage during the tow.
When the tow carries a riding crew, the majority of inspection functions are performed by the crew. Long-distance and
valuable tows without a riding crew embarked should be periodically boarded and inspected, preferably by the same
personnel on each inspection. Since this operation is often difficult and hampered by weather and sea conditions, the
inspection preparations should be well-planned and promptly and efficiently executed. The following suggestions may
aid this process:
a. When possible, consider seeking the lee of a land mass to make the operation safer, easier and more controlled.
b. Shorten up the tow. This provides an opportunity to inspect the towline and any part of the tow rig that can be brought
c. Preferably, use an inflatable boat to transport the inspection party to and from the stow. This boat can be streamed aft
on a light line and brought alongside the tow. Tug and tow should be making minimum speed during this operation to
minimize the bow wave of the tow, which could be dangerous to the inflatable boat.
d. The inflatable boat should be equipped with an outboard engine, whether or not it is streamed on a line. This greatly
enhances its maneuverability and permits its recovery if the line parts.
e. The tow inspection party should perform the following:
Carefully adhere to safety requirements when entering closed spaces. See NSTM 631 (Ref.4).
(1) Check tow connection and bridle for integrity and unusual wear.
(2) Check propeller shaft locking system.
(3) Check rudder locking system.
(4) Check navigational lights and batteries.
(5) Check flooding and fire alarm system.
(6) Visually check open habitable compartments and topside areas.
(7) Sound any suspicious or questionable voids, double bottoms and liquid tanks.
(8) If indicated, visually check structural framing and hull plating in the bow area.
(9) Operationally check firefighting and de-watering equipment weekly, or more often if conditions warrant.
(10) Upon completion of the inspection, close and make watertight all hull access openings.
Any additional checks appropriate to the peculiarities of the tow should be incorporated as needed into the inspection