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CHIRP Maritime Feedback 57 Highlights Tug Safety Issues

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By The Maritime Executive 11-06-2019 05:37:54

The CHIRP Charitable Trust has published Maritime Feedback 57, its fourth bulletin of 2019 which includes reports related to tug safety. 

One of the reports is about a tug’s watertight door which was left open during a harbor towing operation – a situation which should never be encountered but is all too common in practice, says Captain Jeff Parfitt, Director CHIRP Maritime. “In reputable tug companies everyone knows that watertight doors must be closed whenever a tug is operating, and there are signs on all the doors to this effect, but sometimes people forget. This may be because there are other things happening which distract the crew’s attention, or an emergency developing which requires the crew to go in and out of the accommodation at frequent intervals. Whatever the reason, the practice is dangerous and should be avoided.”

Another report involves tugs using very cumbersome towing lines and a crew trying to make them fast at an unsuitable location. “The real cause of the problem is poor ship design, so once again we must question the competence of the naval architects who designed the deck layout, and the various surveyors who approved the designs,” says Parfitt. “We must also question why it has taken 12 years for anybody to make a formal complaint. This case would make an excellent topic for discussion at your next safety meeting – how would you deal with the problem if you found yourself in this situation?”

Feedback 57 also includes reports on a MARPOL violation, the Permit to Work protocol and ColRegs interpretation. 

Feedback 57 is currently available in 4 languages; English, Chinese, Filipino and Portuguese. It is available here.