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post #3 of Old 11-03-2017
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Re: Towing and being towed

"Girding" is especially dangerous. The last 'girding disaster' on the C&D Canal about 15 or more years ago involved girding of a large tow and a towboat in the canal during 'rough weather' and adverse contrary tidal flow which caused the deaths of several on a tug towing a large barge which somehow overtook the tow during tight turn at night in the channel at the western side of the canal as it enters the Chesapeake @ Sandy Point/Herring Creek. The barge's tow line 'girded' the tow boat caused her to turn @ ~90 and which caused the tugboat to swamp, then capsize then partly sink ... with the loss of life to several of her crew. The moral of that story was to keep a sharp axe/hatchet ready to instantly cut the tow line when things get wild, out of control and dicey.

One of the most spectacular 'girding' episodes along the mid-Atlantic coast happened in the 'old' (infamous) Barnegat Inlet on the NJ coast in the late 1960s(?) with a tow boat attempting to enter the inlet with a tow during extremely adverse conditions, got 'girded' and which wound up capsizing and totally inverting the towboat, some of the crew never found. The word 'girding' still sends chills up and down my spine, many years after that incident and actually seeing that ocean-going tug swamped and upside down the following day in the (notorious, 'old') Barnegat Inlet.

Rx: you better 'really' know what the hell you're doing when towing, especially in 'blammo' sea state conditions. My hat's definitely off in admiration to those who do this.

Last edited by RichH; 11-03-2017 at 10:45 PM.
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