We have carried out emergency towing training since 2009. Over the years our mathematical models of eight different Emergency Towing Vessels have been fine-tuned to a high standard of realism and tested by officers. 

The realism of the exercises is strongly dependent on the realistic behavior of the towing lines used to tow the distressed vessels.

Emergency Towing training has been carried out at FORCE Technology during the past five years. Over the years our mathematical models of eight different Emergency Towing Vessels have been fine-tuned to a high standard of realism and tested by officers actually manning the vessels. However, the realism of the exercises is strongly dependent on the realistic behavior of the towing lines used to tow the distressed vessels.

The art of connecting a towing line between two vessels moving violently in adverse weather calls for expert maneuvering skills. 

The line should be: 

  • transferred to the distressed vessel without any strain on it and preferably be easy for the personnel to handle during transfer and making fast 
  • slacked out with high enough tension in order not to touch the seabed and get caught by boulders, wrecks or other obstructions
  • slacked out with low enough tension to not tighten up and be broken by the movements of the vessels 

In case of lost power 

If a distressed vessel has lost power, and therefore has no winch to hoist up a heavy towing wire, a 100 to 200 meter long light but strong carbon fiber line is often deployed.

However, the light line, which has no elasticity, would break easily if high tension is accidentally applied. The light line is connected to a heavy 600 meter long towing wire. 

Source: Stuffucanuse.com

The right combination of towing lines

Slacking out 300 to 500 meter of wire will reinforce the strength and elasticity of the combined towing line and avoid breakage, enabling the actual towing operation to commence. The successful execution of this phase is essential for a successful operation. 

Bearing in mind that the towing lines can be combinations of different line types with various length, weight, elasticity and breaking strength, related to the towing job at hand, the modeling of realistic lines is essential for the training outcome which can be applied in real emergency situations. 

The purpose of the combined towing lines 

The combined towing lines are visible on the towing deck of the vessel and originate from the towing winch or hook. The overall purpose of the combined towing lines is to indicate the direction and tension of the line. 

It is essential for the officer to possess precise knowledge of this in order to make a successful towing connection. 

When the line is tight it is lifted clear of the towing deck and proceeds in an almost straight line to the fairlead of the casualty. 

FORCE Technology has developed models with a range of towing line combinations including different lengths, strengths, weights and elasticity – in compliance with the currently available towing vessels.