Static towing of tankers while visiting an F(P)SO or terminal is a risky business for vessels and crew alike. Lankhorst Ropes welcomes the OCIMF’s new Static Towing Assembly Guidelines (STAG) to improve safety during offloading.
Until the recent establishment of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) Static Towing Assembly Guidelines there has been no international standard or industry best practice guidance for static towing assemblies. The introduction of STAG provides all stakeholders, including rope suppliers such as Lankhorst Ropes, with a common standard to work towards.
Commenting, Jacco van Snippenberg, Group Lead Tug & Towing, Lankhorst Ropes said, “As part of the OCIMF’s Static Towing assembly work group Lankhorst helped develop the new STAG guidelines. STAG’s focus is on improving the safety of people and equipment used in towing visiting tankers to F(P)SO and SPM terminals. Achieving enhanced towing operations starts with ensuring the right equipment for the vessels and environmental conditions is used. It is not uncommon for towing assemblies which are not well suited to be used. We invite vessel operators to work with us make sure they have the equipment needed to operate safely.”
The aim of STAG is to provide technical guidance on towing assembly selection to minimise the risk to crew and equipment and optimise the effectiveness of static towing operations. STAG supplements the OCIMF’s Guidelines to Offshore Tanker Operations (GOTO) and other relevant guidance for static towing operations.
Selecting a towline assembly
The composition and configuration of a towline assembly depends on the design and characteristics of the tug, towing method, size of and equipment on the tanker, and the terminal’s location and environmental conditions. Once these are known it is possible to select a suitable main towline, pennant, stretcher if required and connections such a soft shackle. “By partnering with Lankhorst Ropes operators can be confident that their high-performance towing equipment meets the STAG guidelines, putting them at the forefront of safe towing,” said Jacco van Snippenberg.