Tugs and Tows – A Practical Safety and Operational Guide



The Shipowners’ Club provides P&I insurance for smaller and specialised vessels around the world, including those that engage in towage operations on a daily basis. It is while involved in this activity that incidents resulting in damage, injury or even death may occur. After an analysis of the claims notified to the Club over a two year period it was observed that 53% of all towage related claims were due to primary cause, ‘human factor’, with the initial claim being attributable to poor maintenance, crew negligence, sub-standard navigation, as well as inadequate operational and safety procedures. It is hoped, therefore, that training will assist in the avoidance or reduction of these incidents. This booklet has been produced to assist in raising awareness of some of the practical aspects of a towage operation with a view to assisting mariners who may not be fully familiar with these processes.