Emergency towing system (ETS), also emergency towing gear

Equipment used to tow a ship out of danger in emergencies such as complete mechanical breakdowns, loss of power or loss of steering capability. Typical emergency towing arrangements consist of strongpoints and fairleads fitted forward and aft of the ship, on the ship centreline. Other components are pick-up gear, towing pennant, and chafing gear. To reduce the risk of pollution, tankers of 20,000 dwt and upwards should be fitted with a stern ETS (to be ready for operation under harbour conditions within 15 minutes) and an ETS on the foredeck. Similar arrangement could be required soon for all other ships greater than 20,000 tons deadweight.

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