Part II: To Tow, or, Not to Tow? - 06/16/2010

Last week we ran an article explaining some of the perils of amateur boaters towing disabled recreational boats. Even professionals, using tug boats which were specifically designed for towing, get into trouble from time to time. This week we offer you two videos that we found on YouTube that show exactly what can happen when things go wrong -- even to towing professionals.

Example #1

Tug being tripped
This is a frame from a YouTube video showing a tug boat being “tripped” by the vessel is towing. Watch the video and see what happens next...

Example #2

Tug being tripped
All looks well...
Tug being tripped
...but 25 seconds later the tug looked like this. It was all caught on video by some kayak dudes who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Find out if the one crewman trapped below got out...

We found the above two videos thanks to Capt. Richard J. Rodriguez who has a towing assistance website/blog called Bitter End. Capt. Richard is a former maritime marine officer who well understands the dangers of towing. He went on to say --

“These videos are classic examples of a tug being “tripped.” Tripping occurs when while turning a substantially heavier towed object. The tug is pulled laterally during the turn and cannot recover. In situations such as this, the righting moment of the tug has been compromisedS250.

“Even small recreational vessels are susceptible to “tripping,” and perhaps even more so than on tugs.”