Tug assistance is compulsory even if vessels are equipped with twin screws, bow thrusters and stern thrusters. Tug assistance is a proactive measure for the MPA to take in case of steering failure or engine failures. Tug assistance ensures safety of navigation, people, assets and the environment.
Tug masters need to be in touch constantly with pilots during all shipping movements. A tug needs to be on standby constantly, i.e. round the clock in case of emergencies. The masters of tugs need to report to harbour radio and the pilot on duty as regards the time of leaving base, the time of making fast, the time of casting off lines from vessels and time of berthing at base. All these need to be recorded in the appropriate tug movement books.
The MPA has a mixture of large tugs of 30, 45 and 70 tons bollard pull and small tugs of 12 ton bollard pull. The small tugs are currently employed for Pilot Boat duty. The MPA does not have a dedicated Pilot Boat - a matter which will be addressed hopefully soon in view of savings which may be achieved in fuel costs and maintenance servicing.