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AWO Near Miss 23-10 Tying Tow to Defective Bits

While rearranging barges in tow for a lock, the vessel’s downriver tie failed. To fix the failed tie, the vessel unfaced and moved toward the stern to face-up and re-square the tow. During the vessel’s move, the crew heard a loud ‘pop’.  Upon further inspection, crew found that the shore bit, a D-ring, used to secure the upriver lead had snapped, resulting in the tow running up.
The pilot faced up and moved the tow near a different dock appliance to secure the barges and fix the broken and failed ties. Once secured, the mate took a picture of the damaged bit and the crew discussed the importance of inspecting bits and tie off spots, as well as the dangers associated with failure of equipment that is beyond our control.
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September 26, 2023