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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #31  
Old 01-30-2013
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

Don't have radar but like John, I once avoided this situation because when I saw the tug I assumed it had a barge under tow. The towline and barge were invisible against the island behind them. The white line of foam at the bow of the barge was the only part visible in the dark. A barge painted black can disappear on a dark sea, doesn't seem to be a visibility issue in this case.
Made my heart go pitter-pat when I thought about what the result of not recognizing the tug could have been.
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  #32  
Old 01-30-2013
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

Yeah, and have we discussed the "stop for you? - nuh-uh, my barge will run me over" rule? Not in the COLREGS but it's a big one to the tug crew and they like to obey it so please let them ;-)
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  #33  
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

Quite a number of years ago I remember racing on a light air day at West Van, and a tug and tow came through the race course.. not an unusual event, at least not then when the forest industry was thriving.

A racer was on a tack to intercept the tow line... believe it or not, the towboat operator actually slowed down to let the coasting barge sink the tow line to 'let the guy through'.. I couldn't believe it. The boat did not take up the offer, but it was something I'd never seen before, nor since.
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

Some years ago while salmon fishing at the mouth of Rivers Inlet in BC the fog was very thick and we were staying pretty close to shore. Right away we hooked a big fish which we had to chase to keep from being spooled. Long story short, we ended up in the middle of the inlet with maybe 50 to 100 yards visibility and after about an hour, lost the fish. As we were sitting there with the motor off, kind of in shock about losing the biggest fish we have ever had on, I heard a low frequency rumbling sound coming right at us. I no more than started the motor when a big black tug came out of the fog right at us. We got out of the way by about 50 yards and watched it go by us with a tow cable off the back indicating that something else was coming. After what seemed like a long time a huge self dumping log barge came out of the fog quite close to us.

As we were in a small fiberglass boat I doubt we showed on their radar, however I thought there was some kind of rule that says you are supposed to sound a horn every so many seconds when it is foggy? We heard nothing until we were almost run down. If we had the motor running we may not have heard it coming at all? Good by us.

Paul T
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

I guess there's lots of similar stories.. another one of ours:

Again in fog, we were inching/sailing slowly along the Bowen Island shore (no radar) within visible range of the rocks... over time we too heard the steady low rumbling develop, but were unable to pinpoint the source. As we were so close in, I had near convinced myself it was a generator running ashore.

We reached the last point of the island and struck across the channel, now with nothing visible, still sailing slowly, waiting for the generator noise to fade away... Suddenly my wife shouts "rocks or something to port!" but I knew there was nothing between us and Nanaimo at that point. What it was, though, was a log boom, inching across our path as the unseen tug rumbled in the distance. There had been no warning from the tug, and we were VERY fortunate to have come up against the boom rather than between the tug and tow - we'd never have know what we'd caught.

Again, under power we'd likely not have heard anything and been perhaps less aware.. Anyhow discretion took over, we did a 180 and popped out of the fog bank a mile or so back along our track breathing a sigh of relief.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Run down by a Tug or Barge

I know this is huffpost.. but they seem to give the clearest account of what happened in Philia 2 years ago when a "duckboat" that had been disabled by an engine fire was run down by a tug/barge where the pilot had been away from the controls.

Duck Boat Crash: Matt Devlin Faces Wrongful Death Trial Over 2010 Philadelphia Wreck

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