for beaching and would be of great help. The pendant and bridle should be disconnected. If possible before beaching, to
prevent the tow from stopping short of the beach.
c. Ballast the tow down as soon as possible after grounding, to hold it securely in position. This requirement may not be
apparent in completely sheltered waters, but even so, the range of tides and consequent current should be considered as
forces powerful enough to alter the position of the beached ship.
3-8.8 ANCHORING WITH A TOW. In evaluating the reason for anchoring, always consider it to be a less desirable
alternative to remaining underway. Steaming with the tow may prevent many difficulties encountered at anchor.
Provided that there are no limiting operational factors and there is sufficient sea room, steaming is usually the better
choice. When anchoring with a tow is necessary, the following alternative procedures should be considered.
The mooring loads of the tug and tow may be greater than the holding power or strength of the tug's ground
tackle. A dragging anchor or failure of the ground tackle is possible, resulting in loss of control of the tug and
a. Reduce speed to bare steerageway, head into the predominant set, allow the tow to remain well astern; then reduce
speed and allow the tug and tow to come dead-in-the-water at the anchor drop point. Let go the tug's anchor and pay out
the necessary scope of chain. The tow will follow as affected by set.
b. Reduce speed and approach several hundred yards to port or starboard of the desired anchorage. With the anchorage
position broad on the bow and approaching abeam, put the tug's rudder hard over and reduce speed, maneuver to hold
at the anchoring point, letting the tow pass by.
When the tow clears the tug, drop anchor.
c. The tow can be taken alongside in favorable sea and wind conditions. With the tow alongside, the tug can maneuver
in restricted waters, back down as necessary and drop her anchor.
In some circumstances, in shallow water, the towline itself may be used for light holding of the tow and tug when the
towline comes in contact with the bottom Routine use of this practice is discouraged because of possible damage to the
If there is little wind or current, the tug must be alert to the probability of the hawser's weight pulling the tow toward the
tug, until the hawser rests on the bottom.
3-8.9 SLIPPING THE TOW HAWSER.
Releasing the hawser under tension, or even its own weight, can be hazardous.
In emergencies, wartime conditions or heavy weather, it may be necessary to slip the tow hawser. It may be slipped in a
variety of ways: if circumstances permit, the hawser can be paid out, allowed to run off the towing machine, or cut with a
torch or explosive cable cutter. An ax can be used to cut a synthetic hawser provided that the hawser is under no
tension. If a ship with power is being towed, it sometimes can cast off the towing pendant on the tow's bow. In all of
these cases, releasing the hawser under tension can be hazardous.
If the towline is slipped by the tug without being buoyed off, it may become difficult, if not impossible, to recover it on
board the tow. Certainly a boarding party, or rider crew, will be required to assist. If time allows, the bitter end of the
towline should be buoyed off using a messenger at least 200 feet longer than the water depth, and strong enough to lift
the hawser. One end of the messenger is connected to the hawser and the other to a recovery buoy