[QUOTE=c.captain;69941]In all honestly, when do ATB’s ever leave the notch and make up the tow on the wire? Hell, the ATB tugs I see don’t even appear to have a tow winch on them. [/QUOTE]
There has been at least 3 instances. Two on west coast, one on east coast. Search in this topic.
I am not an ATB guy but I have towed barges on the wire so maybe someone who is can enlighten me but how would a big ATB tug can even be able to make up to the barge at sea? Is the tow wire already rigged like an emergency wire with the breakaway clips that hold it along the side of the barge? Is there a bridle and surge gear already prerigged? A big ATB tug doesn’t have a hull to be able to get alongside a barge even appear to be very doable. How would you get men across? Is it possible to even hip up if necessary?
Yours is the question of the ages. There is NO nationwide standard as to what constitutes an adequate emergency wire/ hawser connection (or even if it should be connected.) There is no regulation regarding what/how an emergency hawser should be: 1. Led, 2. Connected for breakout. 3. or stowed in a box up on the bow of a barge that is UNmanned, and with fender systems that were NEVER made or intended to come alongside in heavy weather 4. No training or drills to actually go through the motions of putting a barge on the hawser. There are many (and I mean most, well over half) ATB’s that feel they (the Masters) can simply get out of the notch and hook up to the barge at will. I feel these are deluding themselves into thinking that their crew is competent, that they are competent, and the after deck of the boat will be workable to connect. One of my contemporaries is quite vociferous that no one is going to tell him how to be prepared for breakout, and he does NOT want to be tethered to the barge with the hawser, because he is worried about being tripped. My reply is that if it is rough enough to get knocked OUT of the notch, then you can rest assured it will be too crappy to come along side and get the emergency hawser rigged. Never mind the deckhands will be like fish out of water on the back deck that is submerged. Never mind that out of water reference. they will be exactly like fish in the water… underwater.
Somebody help an old man who only knows the old ways of hawser towing understand these new fancy fangled gadgets you all are using nowadays.
Btw, who here has read “The Grey Seas Under”? If you tow today but want to read stories about towing in the bad old days you need to read that book. Those men went through hell out there in the winter North Atlantic! We have it so easy it is sickening how soft we all are (your’s truly included)
Holy crap you’re OLD. Farley Mowat. Now there’s a good set of books. I always think of the ‘Foundation Franklin’ burning up her paneling and furniture to get home when I am having a particularly bad day at work. Thinking how bad my predecessors had it makes me realize how good I have it.
Here is one for your thinking cap. During WWll we lost the Philippines. The Philippines supplied all our Hemp and Sisal. All our lines, hawsers and soft line was… Manilla! Nylon was invented right around the middle of WWll as a stop gap because we had not enough rope to equip the ships!