Rescue Towing (Oilfield Seamanship Series Volume 1)

Published Date

June 1993

Rescue Towing (Oilfield Seamanship Series Volume 1)

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This publication is an introductory guide to rescue towing by oilfield tugs.

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This guide to rescue towing covers the techniques, equipment and problems involved in oilfield tug towage services. It looks at:


  • Examples of rescue towing (including jack-ups, semi-submersibles and unmanned cargo barges)
  • using helicopters
  • positioning/manoeuvring during operations
  • typical tow arrangements
  • getting underway
  • retrieval.

Author’s Note

Introduction – scope and purpose
Rescue towing gear
Phases of rescue towage
Information required by tug Master
Organisation of the tug crew – Rescue towage
Crew/manpower requirements
Use of helicopters


Part 1. Examples of rescue towing – Semi-submersibles


Part 2. Examples of rescue towing – jack-ups


Part 3. Examples of rescue towing – Support vessel alongside platform


Part 4. Examples of rescue towing – Unmanned cargo barge


Part 5. Examples of rescue towing – Conventional vessels


Part 6. Using helicopters to run tow gear


Part 7. Positioning/manoeuvring during tow connection and drift patterns


Part 8. Typical tow arrangements


Part 9. Rigging tow gear on boat's deck


Part 10. Tow gear make-up and rigging – standard and non standard equipment


Part 11. Getting tow underway


Part 12. Managing tow in heavy weather


Part 13. Retrieval arrangements – large vessels, semi-submersibles


Part 14. Guidance for Towmasters/Masters of vessels under tow in the offshore oilfield


Part 15. References and further reading


Part 16. Appendix – Scenario

The purpose and scope of this book is to give practical guidance to Masters of anchor handling tugs and similar craft in the offshore oilfield when required to render towing services to other vessels which are adrift or out of control. In the context of the offshore oilfield, rescue towing might include towing moored floating drilling units off sub-sea blow outs, assisting in the control of diving support ships, holding or pulling away specialist support vessels moored alongside platforms or other structures.


The capabilities of many anchor handling tugs in respect of rescue/salvage towing is considerable provided they have on board the basic amount of towing gear and have both the knowledge and ability to use their vessels and crews with imagination, skill and courage.


Presented with situations such as are described in this book the Master and crew must have well thought out plans and procedures before attempting to connect their towing gear. They must also fully appreciate the limitations of the large anchor handling tug/supply vessel when used for rescue towage. These limitations are discussed in this book. All those involved in towing in the offshore oilfield may find useful ideas here and adapt them to the specific circumstances of the situation.


Witherbys titles are developed using scripts developed by technical experts that are peer reviewed within work groups. Typically, they seek to improve understanding of the regulations, recommendations and guidelines issued by Industry.

Witherbys staff have significant expertise in the fields of navigation and hazardous cargoes as well as in the presentation of complex subjects in a graphic and easy to understand manner.

Title: Rescue Towing (Oilfield Seamanship Series Volume 1)
Number of Pages: 107
Product Code: CL1064K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-870945-39-4 (9781870945394), ISBN 10: 1-870945-39-5 (1870945395)
Published Date: June 1993
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 300 mm
Book Width: 210 mm
Book Spine: 5 mm
Weight: 0.40 kg
Author: Witherby Publishing Group

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