Length: 15 Min.
When departing or arriving with a barge under tow to a dock facility a Hip Towing procedure will have to be carried out in order to safely control the barge and position it in and out of a dockside berth.Pre Task PlanningAs with all towing and line handling procedures the crew should hold a PreTask Planning session to communicate the requirements, duties, and hazards of the upcoming Hipping maneuver.That plan will include:* A discussion on the personal protective safety equipment required by all crewmembers while working on deck.* The placement and utilization of sufficient lighting while working at nighttime and the use of flashlights for all hands while on board the barge.* The side of the vessel to be hipped.* And the side of the barge to the dock shall be determined and communicated.The order of lines to be placed and to what bitts on the barge they are to be connected will be made known to all crew hands. This includes the hipping or quarter line, the bow line, and the stern or tow wire.If an assist tug will be helping out, determine what its position will be and agree on a working radio frequency for quick communication. If possible transfer crewmen onto the barge to receive lines or use an assist tug’s crew. In preparation for docking the barge, check the air controls in the station to be used, as well as the secondary steering pump.Hipping ProceduresBefore beginning the Hipping procedure ensure that there is adequate maneuvering room and if an assist tug is available that it is properly connected.Shorten the tow wire by winching it in.All personnel should be at their ready positions along with the mate who is in touch with the wheelhouse by radio communication.Top or spin the tug around to get alongside the barge. When in position the crew will pass lines over to the crew on the barge. Caution should be exercised to utilize proper back safety, never twisting the upper body when passing the line. Never lean over the side of the water to pass lines. If you were to fall between the boat and the barge it would be a deadly bone crunching event.