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TB 55-1900-232-10
3-7.4 TOWING DELIVERY RECEIPT AND REPORTS . If a harbor tug master is authorized to receipt for the tow, he
should do so. This allows for the physical and legal transfer in the stream without the necessity of docking or anchoring
When this responsibility Is not assigned to the harbor tug master, it may be necessary to send personnel ashore to obtain
the necessary signatures on the letter of acceptance
Tug and tow transits, transocean or coastal, are routine operations and generally accomplished uneventfully. Operational
emergencies and other special circumstances are discussed m this paragraph, and general operational guidelines are
presented for reacting to them at sea.
3-8.1 RESCUE TOWING AND RECOVERY OF LOST TOW. There are occasions when it may be necessary to pick up a
tow at sea. The first instance is the recovery of a lost tow for which contingency planning may have been made. Other
circumstances may involve taking a disabled vessel or a derelict in tow. These evolutions will be affected by the
presence of personnel on the tow and by sea and weather conditions.
3-8.1.1 Recovery of a Lost Tow. Chafing of the towline, a mechanical break or other circumstances may cause the tow
to separate from the tug. It is then necessary to recover the tow.
a. If the tow is unmanned and the weather and seas favorable, a boarding party may be put on board the tow, a
messenger passed and the tow reconnected by routine procedures The risks involved in sending a boarding party and
the difficulty of passing a new towline justify rigging a secondary, emergency towline as previously discussed. If the
emergency towline has been used, consider rigging another emergency towline.
b If the tow is manned, it may still be necessary to send a boarding party onboard. If the riding crew is not sufficiently
large or able to safely and adequately handle the re-rigging of the tow, knowledgeable assistance should be made
available from the tug.
3-8.1.2 Emergency Connection of a Disabled Vessel or Derelict. In the emergency connection to a disabled ship, the
presence of a functioning crew aboard is of considerable help If the ship has auxiliary power and is able to operate its
anchor windlass or other winches, the passing of the towline assembly is a relatively simple task, complicated only by
adverse sea and weather conditions The tow pendant may be secured on the forecastle in a variety of methods, but
often the simplest, strongest and most efficient method is to shackle it into the tow's anchor chain with the correct
connecting link.
The connection to a derelict poses the immediate problem of placing a boarding party on board. If there are no means of
boarding, grapnels may be heaved on deck or fabricated pipe boarding ladders may be used to get a man aboard. He
can then lower more conventional means such as a Jacob's ladder. The boarding party may have to carry an assortment
of tools and rigging devices to facilitate hauling the messenger on board and hooking up the tow. After a sufficient length
of the initial messenger is onboard, it may be run through a block and the bitter end passed back to the tug where the
tug's machinery could be utilized in hauling the heavy messenger and towing assembly on deck. The stow pendant is
then made up to an available strong point on the derelict.
There are as many variations of approaching a drifting tow as there are variables in wind and sea Several conventional
methods are discussed and illustrated in the following discussion. It takes good shiphandling to approach and safely take
in tow a vessel of any size. Absolute coordination between the Conning Officer and the fantail crew is essential.


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