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Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 02:49 PM Mar 2024

Poll: Are tugboats infrastructure?

Based on the lack of tugboat regulations and reduction of tugboats on Baltimore's inner harbor and turning basin.

Compared to bridge disasters and the rebuilding costs, tugboats are inexpensive.


33 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Yes
17 (52%)
No
3 (9%)
Never considered it
11 (33%)
Tugboats schmugboats, who needs 'em
0 (0%)
I don't know what a tugboat does
0 (0%)
Tugboats are too expensive
0 (0%)
Tugboats are a librul plot by Chi-Coms and radical leftists
2 (6%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
29 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Poll: Are tugboats infrastructure? (Original Post) Marcus IM Mar 2024 OP
What are you talking about? getagrip_already Mar 2024 #1
Standard policy there. Not everywhere. Marcus IM Mar 2024 #3
Probably some changes, maybe not that specifically getagrip_already Mar 2024 #6
One thing is consistent, ships break down and cause disasters. Marcus IM Mar 2024 #9
Cheap? Lol.... getagrip_already Mar 2024 #12
Ocean going? Marcus IM Mar 2024 #13
Last time i checked... getagrip_already Mar 2024 #18
Not to mention that at some point you will have made the port too expensive to use.. EX500rider Mar 2024 #20
Maybe for large ships that go under bridges. Marcus IM Mar 2024 #23
I was thinking that from baltimore to the end of the channels it must be about that getagrip_already Mar 2024 #25
How many bridges between this bridge and the harbor entrance? Marcus IM Mar 2024 #28
There is at least one more conventional bridge getagrip_already Mar 2024 #29
Generally the Harbor Pilot comes out on the Pilot Boat and the tugs come later EX500rider Mar 2024 #17
I am well aware of how harbor pilots work. Marcus IM Mar 2024 #19
Depends on the cargo and vessel type getagrip_already Mar 2024 #21
Bloomberg radio reporters seemed to suggest that Maersk spooky3 Mar 2024 #2
Maersk is the charterer, not the owner or operator. cloudbase Mar 2024 #5
I presume the analyst was aware of that and is also spooky3 Mar 2024 #27
The bigger question is why more States didn't add bridge support protection after the Sunshine Skyway event in 1980 EX500rider Mar 2024 #4
Or require tugboats until they reach the harbor exit. Marcus IM Mar 2024 #7
That would be up to the US Coast Guard & local Harbor Masters EX500rider Mar 2024 #8
Ships with power have radar. Fog isn't an issue for avoiding bridges Marcus IM Mar 2024 #10
Radar does not always work either EX500rider Mar 2024 #14
You make my case. TY Marcus IM Mar 2024 #24
Are those things out in the water bollards to stop a huge freight vessel? pinkstarburst Mar 2024 #11
Yes EX500rider Mar 2024 #15
Looking at the video.... Turbineguy Mar 2024 #16
It's not obvious that a tug could have stopped the forward motion of a cargo carrier brooklynite Mar 2024 #22
Tugs don't push from behind or pull from the bow. Marcus IM Mar 2024 #26

getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
1. What are you talking about?
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 02:54 PM
Mar 2024

The ship had 2 tugs escort it from the dock to the channel and then released it with a harbor pilot on board.

That is 100% standard policy and in no way a cutback.

Where do you get this stuff?

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
3. Standard policy there. Not everywhere.
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:05 PM
Mar 2024

Miami cargo harbor and turning basin requires tugs from harbor channel entrance and to exit.

Not the only harbor to do so.

Upon further review, do ya think that this standard procedure needs to be upgraded in Baltimore harbor?

getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
6. Probably some changes, maybe not that specifically
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:14 PM
Mar 2024

Keeping a tug or two on station at the bridges probably isn't a bad idea. But not sure an attached escort is required.

Every harbor is different. Currents, winds, traffic patterns, it all enters into the coat guard recommendations to the harbor for rules.

One size does not fit all.

I'm just a small boat guy, but I am coast guard licensed, and I've been in and out of some very busy harbors. Not every one needs full tug duty.

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
9. One thing is consistent, ships break down and cause disasters.
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:22 PM
Mar 2024

Obviously I'm not talking about pleasure boaters.

I would suggest relatively cheap preventative measures for ships that can take down bridges.



getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
12. Cheap? Lol....
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:37 PM
Mar 2024

An ocean going tug costs upwards of $25M a year to run.

The tugs typically need to meet the ships a few miles beyond the first buoys, which are out in the ocean. That's where they will transfer the harbor pilot to the ship, which can be a real pucker power operation.

The captains make 7 figures, or very close to it. As do the harbor pilots. Good work if you can get it.

getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
18. Last time i checked...
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:09 PM
Mar 2024

The knee bone is connected to the shin bone....

You are saying you want a tug escort from entrance to exit (I assume you mean dock or anchorage).

Well, where do you think the entrance to a harbor starts?

It starts at the number 1 and 2 buoys, which are out in the ocean, not in the harbor. Or in the case of Baltimore harbor, i suppose its out in the Chesapeake bay (not my area, dont know the waterways). Not quite the ocean, but beyond the durability of a harbor tug.

So how far out do you want them escorted?

Leave it to the experts. Yes, they didn't have sufficient protocols in place. I agree.

But I'm not sure a 50 mile escort is the answer.

Look at a marine chart.



EX500rider

(10,957 posts)
20. Not to mention that at some point you will have made the port too expensive to use..
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:14 PM
Mar 2024

...and ship traffic will go somewhere cheaper.

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
23. Maybe for large ships that go under bridges.
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:21 PM
Mar 2024

Don't know why you are going at the extremes.

I don't know of bridges 50 miles out in the ocean, do you?

I'm thinking that it's entirely reasonable that simple and effective measures be undertaken, like tugboat escorts for large container ships that can knock down bridges they go under.

I don't get how there could be pushback against this. Unless one is a container ship owner or leasee.



getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
25. I was thinking that from baltimore to the end of the channels it must be about that
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:29 PM
Mar 2024

Even before you get out into the bay.

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
28. How many bridges between this bridge and the harbor entrance?
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:40 PM
Mar 2024

That's what my conversation is about. Protecting bridges from being knocked down by mega container ships.

getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
29. There is at least one more conventional bridge
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:46 PM
Mar 2024

Beyond the Scott Keyes bridge and then there is the Chesapeake bay bridge tunnel.

While you couldn't knock out shipping traffic on the bay bridge tunnel, you could possibly take out the roadway. That would be a pita, but not crippling.

The waterway is critical, but that is safe.

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
19. I am well aware of how harbor pilots work.
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:11 PM
Mar 2024

Obviously, not all ports have the same regulations regarding tugboats managing large container ships going through channels with bridges that can be destroyed by them.

Seems like it might be worth reconsidering, especially now that another major bridge has been destroyed by a ship without tugboats guiding it.




getagrip_already

(15,406 posts)
21. Depends on the cargo and vessel type
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:15 PM
Mar 2024

Lng gets tugs from cradle to grave (hopefully not literally). Also any vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver.

Nuclear subs will also be escorted in from about 5 miles out. Usually a tug will follow along with a couple of ribs.

So it depends.



spooky3

(34,722 posts)
2. Bloomberg radio reporters seemed to suggest that Maersk
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:03 PM
Mar 2024

Is likely liable (whether due to engine/power failure or captain error), and that the govt could go after them to reimburse all the costs, though this would take time if it had to go through courts. An analyst guest said Maersk could sustain even a multimillion dollar hit.

EX500rider

(10,957 posts)
4. The bigger question is why more States didn't add bridge support protection after the Sunshine Skyway event in 1980
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:12 PM
Mar 2024

It now looks like this:

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
7. Or require tugboats until they reach the harbor exit.
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:17 PM
Mar 2024

Tugboats are cheap compared to bridge collapses.

They save lives too.

One would think it is fair to require them considering the capacity for disaster and history these mega ships have.

EX500rider

(10,957 posts)
8. That would be up to the US Coast Guard & local Harbor Masters
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:22 PM
Mar 2024

But a tugboat is no guarantee, they could still have accidents due to fog etc

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
10. Ships with power have radar. Fog isn't an issue for avoiding bridges
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:26 PM
Mar 2024

Tugboats have radar also, so if the mega ships were to lose power, tugs would still be able to redirect ships with power failure.

That's what tugboats are for.

EX500rider

(10,957 posts)
14. Radar does not always work either
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:57 PM
Mar 2024
Summit Venture was involved in a fatal collision with the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay on May 9, 1980. While negotiating a required turn in the narrow channel during a storm, the radar failed, and the freighter struck one of the piers on the southbound span of the bridge.
Tugs can also have engine failures. Protecting the bridge supports with protective bumpers like the Sunshine Skyway has is a must IMO

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
24. You make my case. TY
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:26 PM
Mar 2024

It would be a VERY implausible situation for multiple ships to all lose rader at the same time. Not enough data to figure the odds, but it would be very long odds.

I also agree with the idea of buttressing the abutments.

pinkstarburst

(1,331 posts)
11. Are those things out in the water bollards to stop a huge freight vessel?
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:31 PM
Mar 2024

And do they have the mass necessary to stop a huge freight vessel moving at however many knots loaded down with containers if it loses power?

Turbineguy

(37,589 posts)
16. Looking at the video....
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 03:59 PM
Mar 2024

They lost power several times. It could have been running the bow thruster before getting an extra generator on line caused the second blackout. In any case, there was a smoke plume just before the allision, presumably the emergency full astern bell on the main engine.

I think an escort tug would not have had time to avoid this accident.

In the Puget Sound tankers are required to take escort tugs.

brooklynite

(95,732 posts)
22. It's not obvious that a tug could have stopped the forward motion of a cargo carrier
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:18 PM
Mar 2024

Captains don’t put their ships into neutral and let the tug do all of the movement.

Marcus IM

(2,500 posts)
26. Tugs don't push from behind or pull from the bow.
Tue Mar 26, 2024, 04:31 PM
Mar 2024

Harbor tugs operate from the sides, redirecting forward motion of inbound and outbound ships in motion.

I agree it's not obvious when thrust and control was lost. Having tugs in place could well have redirected it. Especially with the ship moving at 8 knots or under.

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