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Ships operation- Emergency procedures for towing of tankers

Requirement:: All Oil, Chemical and Gas Tankers above 20000 DWT, constructed on or after 1st July, 2002, are equipped with an “Emergency Towing Arrangement (E.T.A.) both Forward And aft to provide the ship with a rapidly deployed towage capacity in an emergency.

The Forward system is required to be deployed in One hour by the ship’s crew and the Aft system by one man in 15 minutes.

Whereas the Forward system has options for use with or without vessel’s electrical power, the Aft system should be pre-rigged and be able to be set up by manual operation alone.

Readiness

The E.T.A. should be inspected at regular intervals to confirm

i) It is ready in all respects for immediate deployment

ii) There are no obstructions

iii) All associated portable equipment like Chain stopper, Hammer, Pliers, Split pins, Mooring shackles etc., are clearly marked and securely stowed near the fixed equipment.

iv) All moving systems of the equipment are greased and operated at regular intervals

v) There is no corrosion on any part of the system.

vi) The self-igniting light on the marker buoy lights up.

vii) It is clearly marked to facilitate safe and effective use even in darkness and poor visibility.




Training

Procedures for deployment of the ship specific E.T.A. are to be displayed in a common place on board (at least Navigation Bridge, beside the Device (F&A)) accessible by all, as well as being included in the ship’s SOLAS Training Manual.

Drills should be practiced regularly in deployment of the equipment, though it is not necessary to fully deploy the equipment. The procedures during drills should be used to familiarize the crew with the method of operation as well as emphasize any hazards which might be faced by personnel during deployment.

Other

The E.T.A. is only meant to assist in removing the ship from immediate danger and may not be designed for a long haul. A more permanent towing system is then required to be planned by the Master and the Tug.



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