PILOTAGE PRE-PLANNING GUIDE
Figure 20. Towing of semisub rig
Where should the pilot be?
As a main rule, the pilot should be on board the manoeuvring vessel during sea pilotage.
This means that during a towing operation the pilot should be on board the
tug boat. There may be special conditions that require a pilot on board the towed
vessel. Embarkation and disembarkation of pilot from offshore units may be quite
difficult and will often involve a helicopter.
Length of towing wire: As a main rule, a short towing wire provides more control
of the towing operation than a long wire, but at the same time it involves a much
greater risk of breaking in case of sudden impact. It is thus standard procedure to
shorten the wire when manoeuvring or reducing speed (see catenery below).
When towing offshore rigs, the leading tug will be in regular contact with the rig,
typically every hour to provide information on towed distance, speed, weather and
possibly fuel figure etc. It will therefore be practical for communication to take place
through this link.
Communication when sending, for example, NAV warnings on VHF Ch. 16 may be
necessary. Find out whether leading tug has included this as part of its route plan