The USCG-AWO Pacific Region Quality Steering Committee (QSC) has distributed the first near-miss incident report of its quality action team on industry incident reporting. The AWO Pacific Region Summary of Towing Industry Incident Reports: Near-Miss and Lessons Learned Information, is based on six voluntary and anonymous towing vessel incident reports received since the Towing Vessel Incident Report program was initiated by the QSC in June 1998.
Two reports involved recreational vessels maneuvering erratically around single barge tows in Puget Sound, resulting in unsafe near-collision conditions. A third incident involved a tow with a lumber barge in San Diego Bay that had to maneuver through a sailboat race. The fourth incident involved a near collision off the Washington Coast, where a small F/V ignored a danger signal from a single tank barge tow, and passed between the tug and its tow.
The fifth incident involved a near grounding, where the mate on watch misinterpreted a marking light and inadvertently proceeded from the main channel into a shallow channel. The final incident involved an instructive and informative description and analysis of a coastal towing incident
where the mate unintentionally and unknowingly bumped the autopilot switch on to manual steer, resulting in the barge overtaking the tug.