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Ocean Towing

Once the master has decided that he requires the assistance of a towing vessel, he should immediately begin to plan the possible methods of making the towing connections. The nature and extent of any advantage to the ship which is to be towed will be relevant in deciding whether it should be towed from the bow or the stern to minimize further damage while under tow. Early communications should be established while the towing vessel to exchange information and determine the equipment available on the vessel to be towed and the proposed towing method. The master can then decide what preparations should be made. This may include preparing the insurance/towing wire for use or breaking the anchor cable on deck and having suitable shackles and chain available for use with towing brackets. Alternatively the tow can be established by removing an anchor from its cable and connecting the towing by to the anchor cable which is left rigged through the horse pipe. The Chain can then be veered by use of the wind lost to allow the chain to be moved in the horse pipe. Breaking the anchor cable can be performed on the ships deck or on the deck of the vessel. It should be noted that during towing, the greatest stresses on the towing system occur when the inertia of the disabled ship is being overcome and, later, during its tendency to yaw. It is at these times that the tow line is most likely to part. In order to minimise the risk of parting the tow line, the highest possible resilience should be incorporated. One Possible means of achieving this id by lowering the ships anchor and cable a little way and connecting the tow line directly to the cable with the anchor still attached.

Making Connection
Initial connections will normally be made by passing a little light line, such as a heaving line, and using this to take on board a messenger, which in turn will be used to pass a tow line between the ships. When the towing wire is passed to the ship to be towed, the messenger connection to the towing wire may be rigged as shown in figure below. This will enable the connections to be made without having to stopper the towing wire and disconnect the messengers. A wire of 70mm diameter would need a pull of about 10 tones to raise it on board.


Should it prove impossible to lift the tug s gear on the board then the method shown in figure below should be used. A light line followed by a heavily messengers are passed back to the tug, after which the chafe chain and towing line are heaved up to the towing point on the disabled vessel, using the tugs own power. If this is impracticable an alternatively may be to lower an anchor into the water to enable the tug to connect a line directly to the anchor cable. Once the tug line is secure, with the agreement of the tug, several shackles of cable may then be paid out.



The tow line may be secured on board the disabled ship in the one of several ways of example by either turning up on two or more sets of bitts, or securing the chafe chain which in turn is secured in towing brackets or in a chain stopper. When the anchor cable is used, precautions should be taken to prevent the cable from running out. Claws, paws, guillotines or other mechanical means may be employed.

Commencing Towing.
A modern cargo ship or tanker, with the accommodation aft, will naturally `seek the wind (the weathervane effect) as it gathers way under tows and has no propeller thrust over the rudder. A Towing ship should therefore ensures this happens under control by beginning the tow into the wind, and be ready to alter its own course to stay ahead of the towed shp until the latter can steer itself.

Marine Salvage is the process of rescuing a ship, its cargo, or other property from peril. Salving encompasses rescue towing, reflecting a sunken or grounded vessel, or patching or repairing a ship. Today the protection of the environment from cargoes such as oil or other contaminants is often considered a high priority. Salvors are seamen and engineers who carry out salvage to vessels that are not owned by themselves, and who are not members of the vessels original crew. When salvaging large ships, they may use cranes, floating dry rocks and divers to lift and repair ships for short journey to safety towed by tugboat. The aim of the salvage may be to repair the vessel at a harbor or dry dock, or to clear a channel for navigation. Another reason for salvage may be to prevent pollution or damage to the marine environment. Alternatively the vessel or valuable parts of the vessel or its cargo may be recovered for its resale value, or for scrap.

Offshore Salvage
The refloating of ships stranded or sunk in exposed waters is called offshore salvage. In this type of salvage, vessels are exposed to waves, currents and whether and are the most vulnerable and difficult to work on. They also tend to deteriorated more rapidly than such vessel in protected harbors offshore salvage may provide only a short window of opportunity for the salvage team due to unusually high tide or inclement weather for instance. The work window may not come around again for as long as weeks or months and in the interim. The vessels will continue to deteriorate. As a result, it is often imperative to work quickly typically; offshore salvage is conducted from pre outfitted salvage vessels and tugs. In addition, Portable diving facilities may be transported by helicopter or small boat to the work area. From a tactical point of view , working in unprotected waters is less hospitable for floating cranes, construction tenders, dredges an equipment barges. Plus, it is often difficult to depend upon a stable work force. (Welders carpenters etc.) . As all personnel must be present on sight for the duration.

Harbor salvage
A house boat being salvaged being in an Amsterdam canal. The term harbor salvage refers to the salvage of vessels stranded in sheltered waters. Such vessel is not normally subject to the same deterioration caused by marine and weather conditions as offshore salvage vessels are. In addition, unless the vessel to be salvaged is obstructing navigation, then there is no need to work as swiftly as in offshore salvage. Also, harbor pre salvage survey and planning stages tend to be less time consuming and environmentally dependent. It also easier to gain access to local labor resources and heavily equipment such as floating cranes and barges.

Cargo and equipment salvage

Saving the cargo and equipment aboard a vessel may be of higher priority than saving the vessel itself. The cargo may pose an environment hazard or may include expensive materials such as machinery or precious metals. In this form of salvage, the main focus is on the rapid removal of goods

and may include deliberate dissection, disassembly or destruction of the hull.

Wreck removal.
Wreck removal focuses on the removal of hazardous or unsightly wrecks that have little salvage value. Because the objectives here are not to save the vessel, the wreck are usually refloated pr removed by the cheapest and most practical methods possible. In many cases, hazardous materials must be removed prior to disposing of the wreck. The most common technique used in wreck removal are cutting the hull into easily handled section or refloating the vessel and scuttling in deeper waters.

Afloat salvage
The salvage of a vessel that is damaged but still afloat is called afloat salvage. This type of salvage is mostly unobtrusive and involves primarily damage control work such as hull welding, stabilization (rebalancing ballast tanks and shifting cargo). And structural bracing. The vessel can remain underway with little disruption to its original purpose and crew.

Clearance Salvage. Clearance salvage is coordinated removal or salvage of numerous vessels in a harbor or waterway. It typically follows a catastrophic event such as a tsunami, hurricane or an act of war. There may be multiple vessel obstructions with varying degrees of damage due to collisions, fire or explosions.