Published: November 2021
This pocket guide is designed to promote and improve safety in harbour towage. Based on industry best practice, it includes checklists and guidance covering Pilot/Master exchange of information, harbour towage best practice, tug types and points of good seamanship for ships’ crew.
Harbour towage is a potentially hazardous operation and should not be undertaken unless there has been a proper assessment of the risks involved. It is critical that risks are minimised, and this is best achieved through:
- Good communication and teamwork between all parties
- Planning clear operational limits to facilitate timely interventions – through the use of a shared mental model
- Good seamanship skills and crew competency
Thorough training and appropriate experience are also essential in ensuring that the professionals involved are competent. To assist in this process, this guide aims to support pilots and PEC (Pilot Exemption Certificate) holders in their daily tasks. It draws on industry best practice and uses checklists coupled with guidance to provide a handy pocket aide-memoire for those responsible for directing tugs during harbour towage.
The guide has been written by members of the British Tugowners Association in conjunction with the UK Maritime Pilots’ Association to promote and improve safety in harbour towage.
The British Tugowners Association is a discrete part of the UK Chamber of Shipping.