Tugboats are one of the most important and busiest vessels in the maritime industry. They can be separated into three types, each with their own function: Oceangoing tugs Harbor tugboats River tugboats Most are used to help ships into and out of the water. Additionally, they come to the rescue of ships, the fight fires and break up ice. They can tow the weight of larger cruise ships and container ships, as well as tow oil rigs and other large maritime structures. Risks Associated with Tugboat Accidents Unfortunately, such an important job does not come without some risk, especially when the proper safety precautions are not taken. Tugboats are most commonly susceptible to the following types of maritime accidents: Capsizing—This most often occurs when there is an operational problem with the vessel. However, this types of accident most often leads to serious or fatal injuries. Mechanical failure—Tugs require a lot…
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Last year, six towing industry workers died in tugboat accidents, three of which died by falling overboard. While there has been a steady decrease in the number of maritime accidents over the last 20 years, overboard accidents are still the leading cause of maritime industry deaths. Specifically, falling overboard accounts for at least 50 percent of all tugboat vessel fatalities, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Other types of tugboat accidents include: Capsizing Slip and falls Struck-by injuries Vessel collisions How to Stay Safe On a Tugboat Due to the high risk of falling overboard, it is important that all crewmembers wear a personal flotation device while working onboard the vessel. In order to avoid other safety hazards, workers should always watch their feet for lock lines, ratchets that have tension in them and loose wires. It is also important that all crewmembers know the location of all emergency equipment….
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