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Indirect escort mode  
  IMO and HELCOM organizations recognized the Baltic Sea as a sensitive area of nature. We agree that increased tanker traffic due to continuous building of oil terminals puts a high risk on nature. Because of the Baltic Sea closeness, it is very undesirable to use chemical means of oil spill cleaning, so preventive measures come to first place.

  Escorting of big oil and chemical tankers significantly reduces risk of collisions and as a consequence -  water  pollution.  A tug should
steer and stop a tanker in case of engine or steering failure or any other accident.

  PKL Flote express a great concern about environmental issues regarding sea pollution and therefore we promote compulsory tug escort services in dangerous shore areas for loaded oil and chemicals tankers as an efficient and cheap pollution prevention measure. Please look at the statistics provided by HELCOM and Maritime Accident Response Information System:


  Unfortunately a usual tug cannot be used for escorting services. Escort tug should have specially designed hull (to work with it as floating anchor in perpendicular with vessel's direction), special escort winch, and other equipment. To perform such services a tug should get special escort certificate from a classification society. PKL Flote today has two escort tugs.

  Tug escort is already compulsory in several ports of the Baltic Sea in Finland, Sweden, and Russia.


HELCOM recommendations for escort tug requirements*:

  The Gulf of Finland international waters approved escort tug shall have a DNV or similar certification of fulfilment of the escort requirements. The vessel shall be capable for direct and indirect escort operation modes so that it can:
  • stop the tanker in case of a propulsion damage from 10 knots speed in less than 2000 meters distance

  • control the tanker so that in case of rudder being stucked in 35 deg angle and main machinery being stopped the tug can stop the tanker from 10 knots speed so that she will not drift aside more than 350 meters

  • escort the tanker into port through the archipelago lane together with another escort tug: this means max draught of 7.0 meters

  • carry out oil spill combatting operations if necessary

  • carry out fire-fighting or rescue operations if necessary
The ice breaker/escort tug to be equipped with adjustable constant tension towing winches for the escort duties and towing in ice.



* - an extract from a draft HELCOM Recommendation 13 May 2001 “Traffic restrictions and escort requirements for various types of oil tankers navigating in the Gulf of Finland waters”