and end fitting to expedite removal of the casualty from immediate danger. In such a case, the casualty might have
already rigged its own hawser ready to pass to the tug. The tug need only heave the casualty's hawser on board the tug
to make the final connection to its own hawser, thus being ready to commence towing within a short time after arrival at
the scene. The towing system can be re-rigged with the tug's more robust gear after the casualty is removed from
Provided that the water depth is sufficient, when connecting to the casualty's own emergency towing hawser, the towing
ship should consider inserting a shot of chain between the two hawsers to assist in maintaining a healthy catenary.
In addition to the hawser end fittings described in ATP-43, Change 1 includes a NATO Standard Towing Link. See Figure
The ATP-43 comments relevant to the NATO Standard Towing Link are:
1. The NATO Standard Towing Link is to be used during ship-to-ship towing operations as an interface between the
towing equipment of the towing ship and that of the ship towed, whichever of the two ships provides the equipment, in
order to improve interoperability
2. Ships of less than 1,000 metric tons displacement, other than tugs, are not obliged to have the Standard Towing Link
3 The interface will be at the presented end of one or both ships' towing hawsers. (One of the ships will have to provide a
4. The NATO Standard Towing Link shall conform to the dimensions shown.
5. The strength of the link is the responsibility of the Providing Nation.
The link is quite large-the largest conceivable tow shackle (4 inches) can be dipped through the link. Note that the
strength of the link is left to the Providing Nation. In the absence of information to the contrary, it may be assumed that
the link strength exceeds the breaking strength of the casualty's emergency tow hawser. Additionally, it may be assumed
that the casualty's attachment points also exceed the strength of its hawser.
FIGURE 4-17. NATO Standard Towing Link
(English dimensions are approximate).