Two tugs capsize and sink within days of each other

shamrock
11th July 2009, 09:47
In spite of decades of experience and improvements to conventional screw powered tugs, reports of vessels being capsized while towing still occur with depressing regularity. Two such incidents occurred within days of each other in June.

To the uninitiated, this phenomenon, known as ‘girting’, ‘girding’ or ‘tripping’, depending on where you live, can happen when unexpected movements are made by the ship or barge in tow, whilst the towline is over the tug’s side and unrestrained by a gog rope or bridle.

In the early hours of 6 June three men were rescued from the sinking tug Ijsselstroom after their vessel capsized while assisting in the tow of a stone barge near the entrance to Peterhead harbour. All three crew were retrieved from the water by the harbour pilot boat, cold, wet and shaken but apparently uninjured.

The 19.5m long Ijsselstroom, well known in marine civil engineering and dredging circles, is operated by Dutch owners Van Wijngaarden Marine Services. A twin screw vessel of 900 bhp powered by two Caterpillar main engines, the tug was built in 1992 and has a bollard pull of 15 tons. Ijsselstroom was one of two tugs assisting the barge Tak Boa 1, laden with 5,500 tons of stone from Scandinavia destined for the site of a £30million project to extend the harbour’s Smith Embankment. The incident occurred some 500m off the harbour entrance and at the time of writing the tug was lying in 25m of water.

An investigation has been started by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) in an attempt to determine the cause the capsizing. A spokesman for the MAIB said the inquiry could take several weeks to complete.

Just a few days later, on 11 June, it was reported that a small tug-workboat capsized and sank during an operation to refloat a stranded trawler off Sandgerdi. The un-named vessel was made fast to the trawler’s bow while the Iceland Coastguard attempted to haul the fishing vessel off stern first. When the trawler came free and gained speed the two man crew of the workboat was unable to react quickly enough to prevent their vessel being capsized. Fortunately both crew members were quickly picked up by a lifeboat attending the incident.


http://www.maritimejournal.com/archive101/2009/july/tugs__and__towing_by_jack_gaston/two_tugs_capsize_and_sink_within_days_of_each_othe r

ddraigmor
11th July 2009, 10:19
Ta for that Ally - for a more in depth but easier to read explanation of 'girting' see http://www.theartofdredging.com/capsizingtug.htm

It seems some vessels do NOT use a gog rope......

Jonty

Corrimeala
12th July 2009, 04:01
The "Gog" rope was always called a bridle on the Thames tugs I worked on. I've noticed in recent photos of tugs towing they seldom seem to be used now.

Billieboy
12th July 2009, 08:40
There were a couple of steam Tugs in Cardiff, "Usk", and "Newport", I think they were, which sank on a fairly regular basis when I was an apprentice. I had to overhaul the safety valves a few times on them after they had been raised, washed out, desalted and re-flashed, the rate, for poping or setting, was 7/6 per safety! a pot of gold for a an apprentice at that time, it was nearly a full day's pay!

cryan
12th July 2009, 09:48
We avoid the majority of potential girding incidents by working over the bow when we are the stern tug. Still in trouble if the tow passes us when we work as bow tug. Just have to trip the hook.

ddraigmor
12th July 2009, 11:50
We called it a gog rope when I was on tugs - a bridle was the attachment from the tow to our line. Local differences!

All hooks had a tripping device and if there was any doubt, it was pulled - plus one of the AB's was always on hand with an axe.

I have also seen some tugs not using a gog rope - why is that? Is it to do with modern practice or local variation?

Jonty

RayJordandpo
13th July 2009, 18:06
The "Gog" rope was always called a bridle on the Thames tugs I worked on
Likewise with United Towing on the River Humber

MNEWBY
13th July 2009, 22:42
My Dad was a skipper on the Tyne tugs and later at Newport South Wales and I agree with others we always refered to it as the Bridle.
Mike

Corrimeala
14th July 2009, 02:13
We only towed Silvertown Services ships - the rest of the time it was all barges. The tugs I was apprentice on; the Silverdial and the Silvertown were probably a bit too small for the job. It's a credit to the skippers that we never got into any trouble.

Once the tow was set it was the "Boys" (the apprentice) job to get up behind the hook with the "Kosh" to knock the pin out at the skippers command. We also had an axe but I would have hated to hit the towing cable with that if it was under strain. I often wondered if the tales they told of being cut in half by a breaking towing cable were true, I certainly didn't want to find out!

Billieboy
14th July 2009, 06:35
I often wondered if the tales they told of being cut in half by a breaking towing cable were true, I certainly didn't want to find out!

It's true alright, there was a broken wire on a tow in Barry in 1947-9, where a man on the after deck was cut in half by the wire coming back from the ship being towed, happened just outside the locks as the vessel was sailing. It was the talk of the Town for some weeks, very sad.(Cloud)

Robert D
14th July 2009, 07:01
Once saw a tug capsize at Towerbridge, she was straining to pull the stern of a ship to get her straitened up in to go under the bridge. Suddenly she went sideways and turned over, it all went in a flash, almost unbeleivable. One man lost, trapped in engineroom. Must have been about 1960-61.

Corrimeala
14th July 2009, 09:32
Once saw a tug capsize at Towerbridge, she was straining to pull the stern of a ship to get her straitened up in to go under the bridge. Suddenly she went sideways and turned over, it all went in a flash, almost unbeleivable. One man lost, trapped in engineroom. Must have been about 1960-61.

That was one of Alexanders Tugs (think it was the Sunfish). They reckon as she went sideways her stern hit the abutment of Tower Bridge and that was that.

Robert D
14th July 2009, 12:37
Hi Corrimeala,
Thank you for the confirmation, I beleive you have worked on the Thames.
When one looks back on events in life one wonders if one is dreaming it all up, sometimes anyway.
Thanks

Robert D
14th July 2009, 12:43
Hi Corrimeala,
Thank you for the confirmation, I beleive you have worked on the Thames.
When one looks back on events in life one wonders if one is dreaming it all up, sometimes anyway.
Thanks

Noddy-Billing
14th July 2009, 15:46
I worked in conventional twin and single screw tugs for the MOD(N) (under different flags, both red and blue) most of my working life and never used a gog rope (or even heard the possibility of using one discussed). The only times that I ever remember having to slip in an emergency was when we were under the control of a local authority (or Trinity House) Pilot. Never under an Admiralty Pilot, who were all serving tug Masters. Only once do I recall the Clyde Towing Arm refusing to trip and the local Authority Pilot could not understand why we wanted to ( we were approaching 60 degrees list by this time!). Luckily the guys on the fcsle of the tow was a bit more switched on and slipped us on his own initiative. We all changed into clean underpants that day!:sweat:

cryan
18th July 2009, 18:32
Noddy, the RMAS never needed a gob rope due the the manner of working, ie. many tugs working either as a lash up or just towing off the berth to allow other tugs to go push pull on the other side or working over the bow etc. they are only ever needed if you are being towed astern, ie working the centre lead aft but working astern with the tow on the clyde hook as it is extremely easy to end up broadside to no matter who the pilot is. In comercial tug ops there is usually only ever two tugs and while we at rosyth still work the dog class over the bow/ push pull/ or lash up the aft tug. some places like the Clyde it has always been that the after tug works astern through the centre lead aft and as such a gob/gog is needed. If the towed vessel passes ahead of the bow tug then they will have to trip the hook as obviously with conventional tugs the tow is not gobbed to allow more manouvering with the bow tug although the pilot should slow the vessel with either the stern tug or a kick astern to stop this happening. After the Flying Phantom we did discuss the use of a gob on the bow tug due to the nature of RN skippers to fall on the sticks and take off with the bow tug still attached but it was decided that the loss of manouverability was too high and that expletives over the radio could have the same effect. Hope this makes sense.

Cobbydale
20th July 2009, 13:05
We called it a gog rope when I was on tugs - a bridle was the attachment from the tow to our line. Local differences!

All hooks had a tripping device and if there was any doubt, it was pulled - plus one of the AB's was always on hand with an axe.

I have also seen some tugs not using a gog rope - why is that? Is it to do with modern practice or local variation?

Jonty

Liverpool tug with the GOG hard down..

Noddy-Billing
20th July 2009, 14:31
Noddy, the RMAS never needed a gob rope due the the manner of working, ie. many tugs working either as a lash up or just towing off the berth to allow other tugs to go push pull on the other side or working over the bow etc. they are only ever needed if you are being towed astern, ie working the centre lead aft but working astern with the tow on the clyde hook as it is extremely easy to end up broadside to no matter who the pilot is. In comercial tug ops there is usually only ever two tugs and while we at rosyth still work the dog class over the bow/ push pull/ or lash up the aft tug. some places like the Clyde it has always been that the after tug works astern through the centre lead aft and as such a gob/gog is needed. If the towed vessel passes ahead of the bow tug then they will have to trip the hook as obviously with conventional tugs the tow is not gobbed to allow more manouvering with the bow tug although the pilot should slow the vessel with either the stern tug or a kick astern to stop this happening. After the Flying Phantom we did discuss the use of a gob on the bow tug due to the nature of RN skippers to fall on the sticks and take off with the bow tug still attached but it was decided that the loss of manouverability was too high and that expletives over the radio could have the same effect. Hope this makes sense.

In Devonport, when moving large ships (Carriers, Cruiser or large RFA's) between the Naval base and the Sound (or vice versa) the channel twists through 2 right angles in a narrow passage, and it was often that the bow tug was in potential danger of being overrun. It was only the skill of the tug Masters and the Admiralty Pilots that this did not become reality. But the use of a gog rope was never considered (as far as I know). When Water Tractors replaced conventional screw tugs as bow tugs then the danger decreased to infinity, of course.

todd
23rd July 2009, 17:29
If you go to 'tug boat flip accident Skookumchuck Narrows' on Youtube you will see what happens when a tug is girthed and just how quick it can happen.

Jim

ddraigmor
23rd July 2009, 18:47
Cobbydale,

THat's the beastie. I NEVER did a towing job without a gog being used. Even offshore, with rigs, it was used.

Like I said, is it a local thing or do some folk know better?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_EyHS9IMcA - no gog but bloody quick on the hook release.

Jonty

Corrimeala
24th July 2009, 03:04
I think this is even more amazing, no bridle could have stopped this!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8AJ93Wh00&NR=1

I would love to know what comments passed between the skipper of that small tug and the Captain of that ship.

Ron Stringer
24th July 2009, 19:01
I think this is even more amazing, no bridle could have stopped this!!!

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8AJ93Wh00&NR=1

I would love to know what comments passed between the skipper of that small tug and the Captain of that ship.

Corri

You have a few ''http://'' too many. Click on the Edit button and rub out the unwanted. The shortened version ''http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8AJ93Wh00&NR=1" works fine.

Corrimeala
25th July 2009, 02:17
Corri

You have a few ''http://'' too many. Click on the Edit button and rub out the unwanted. The shortened version ''http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8AJ93Wh00&NR=1" works fine.

Thanks for that. I tried to add 2 links at the same time and it didn't like it. This is the missing one.

This ones the tug without the bridle! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qljs9B55N84&feature=related)

ddraigmor
25th July 2009, 11:53
Same link I posted......!

Jonty

todd
30th July 2009, 11:58
Liverpool tug with the GOG hard down..

Alan another Liverpool tug with the gog hard down being dragged stern first through Hornby Lock (one of the ex 'Cock Tugs'....West or Heath I am not sure.)As they are both in the picture I can't be very wrong can I ?

samuel j
18th August 2009, 20:35
Not sure of you have seen this one, thankfully no fatalities

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEfUblSDzww

KEITH SEVILLE
23rd August 2009, 16:05
Just been watching the film of this freak incident.
Very dramatic - but pleased nobody drowned.
Expect the tug will be salvaged later.

Regards
Keith

O.M.Bugge
25th August 2009, 10:24
Two lessons here:
1) Don't EVER let the tow overtake the tug. Slow down so you can get ahead, if need be.
2) Make sure the towline can be released quickly.

I investigated an accident where a much larger tug got pulled over and 4 persons died. The 3rd Eng. was standing by the Tow winch quick release, but did not activate because he was waiting for the Captain to instruct him. He lived, the Captain died.