Towing tug encountered heavy weather while en-route from China to Singapore. The extensive damages to the vessel’s towing winch were done due to improper actions of the crew.

What happened:

The vessel was towing a loaded barge and encountered rough sea coupled with long swells. This resulted in the towing winch's brake started to slip.
The vessel crew realized this and instead of tightening the brake, they have placed steel pipe in between the pinion gear and the bull gear to act as a stopper.

Incorrect actions resulted in:

1) The winch was damaged beyond repair.
2) The tow was lost.

The act could have resulted in:

1) The steel pipe slips and strikes them. 2) The winch breaks and results in serious injuries

Lesson Learnt:

1) The ONLY way to stop the brake slipping is by tightening the winch brake. NO other means of a stopper to be used at any time.

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posted 01 Apr '18, 19:21

April 1, 2018, 7:21 p.m.
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