Sec. 852.4 - Minimum Escort Tug Requirements for Tankers

ยง 852.4. Minimum Escort Tug Requirements for Tankers

Only those tankers designed or modified to carry 5,000 long tons or more of oil or petroleum products as cargo are required to engage escort tugs in accordance with this subchapter except as provided in (i) below.

(a) Each tanker shall engage escort services as follows:

(1) for inbound transits prior to passing between buoys 5 and 6, escort tug(s) shall remain with the tanker until it is properly berthed or anchored;

(2) for outbound transits from the berth or anchorage, escort tug(s) shall remain with the tanker until either safely at sea or after passing between buoys 5 and 6;

(3) while shifting from one location to another within the harbor.

(b) Before commencing an escorted transit, the pilot or master of the tankers shall initiate communications with the escort tug. During this pre-escort communication, all parties shall plan and discuss the details of the escorted transit including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) the intended route;

(2) the intended destination;

(3) the speed of the tanker;

(4) the positioning of the tug(s) relative to the tanker being escorted;

(5) the manner in which an emergency connection would be made between the tug(s) and tanker;

(6) radio communications, including primary and secondary frequencies; and

(7) anticipated weather, tidal, and sea conditions.

(c) Except as provided in (i) below, each tanker shall engage escort services as required by this subchapter whether laden or unladen.

(d) Each tanker shall have a minimum of one escort tug, except as stated in (e) and (i) below.

(e) All tankers over 20,000 deadweight tons shall have a minimum of two escort tugs.

(f) Escort tug(s) shall maintain an optimum station-keeping position as directed by the pilot or tanker master so as to best render assistance if needed. In any case, the escort tug(s) shall stay within 1/8 mile of the tanker while providing escort services.

(g) Tankers requiring escort services shall proceed at a safe speed which shall not exceed 10 knots or the speed at which their escort tug(s) can render assistance, whichever is less. Safe speed shall also take into consideration other factors, including but not limited to, depth of water, visibility, wind conditions, tidal currents, escort tug wakes, other traffic, and vessels at anchor.

(h) All tugs engaging in escort services for a tanker shall have multiple main propulsion systems.

(i) Exemptions:

(1) Where an emergency or extraordinary circumstances exist to threaten public safety, the environment, and/or the vessel, its crew or cargo, the pilot or master of a tanker is authorized to override this section consistent with provisions of the Inland Navigational Rules Act (33 USC 2001 et seq.) for same or similar circumstances. The pilot or master shall report any such event to the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port. For purposes of this section, an emergency or extraordinary circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following:

(A) imminent and immediate danger to the vessel, its cargo or its crew;

(B) imminent and immediate danger to a marine terminal, service or escort tug;

(C) imminent and immediate danger to a vessel in the proximity of the escorted vessel; or

(D) any emergency declared by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

(2) A tanker shall not be required to engage escort services when it is carrying 5% of the vessel's deadweight tonnage, or 5,000 long tons, whichever is less, of oil or petroleum products as cargo, and is in ballast and inert or gas free.

(3) This subchapter shall not apply to tankers with double hulls, as that term is defined in 33 CFR Section 157.03, when the tanker also has fully redundant steering and propulsion systems. To be considered fully redundant, a steering and propulsion system shall include at least the following:

(A) two propellers with an engine dedicated to each; and

(B) two rudders with separate steering motors; and

(C) an operating bow thruster with a dedicated power source.

(1. New section filed 1-23-97; operative 2-22-97 (Register 97, No. 4). 2. Amendment of subsection (i)(2) filed 7-24-98; operative 8-23-98 (Register 98, No. 30). 3. Amendment of Note filed 3-30-2005; operative 4-29-2005 (Register 2005, No. 13).)

Note: Authority cited: Sections 8670.17.2 and 8670.23.1, Government Code. Reference: Sections 8670.17.2 and 8670.23.1, Government Code.

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