The UK Club’s Loss Prevention team takes a close look at tug and barge operations

Books, News, P and I Clubs, Salvage, Towage, Wreck Removals — By on November 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

The latest Loss Prevention publication from the UK P&I Club is entitled ‘Tug and Barge Matters’ and is described as a focus on some of the issues surrounding tug and barge fleets in the P&I world. Running to 18 pages and heavily illustrated, it compares examples of bad and good practice.

As in many other shipping sectors, following good practice is usually very inexpensive and can be achieved for example by better signage and marking of danger areas such as on the mooring decks. Crews have a major role to play by noting hazards as they move around the vessel. Frayed wires, ropes and straps left where they could cause a trip should be attended to; likewise oil leaks and drips, no matter how minor.

Replacing damaged or worn-out equipment may come at a greater cost but there is no excuse for using such things. Replacing a fender, for example, is cheaper than the cost of meeting claims when an incident occurs.

Tugs and barges are often dangerous work environments especially in choppy seas. Crew and visitors transferring between tugs or between tugs and barges can easily slip and find themselves in the water or crushed between the two vessels.  Care needs to be taken at all times and ladders and rails need to be in first-class condition. Obvious, yes but in practice all is often not well.

The UK Club provides cover for several large tug operators who are now served by a dedicated Loss Prevention publication that complements other relevant publications such as its ‘Risk Focus: Slips, trips and falls’, published in April 2012.

UK P&I Club

The United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Limited is generally known as the UK P&I Club. As a mutual association, the UK Club has no outside shareholders and no financial links with other organisations. Since its establishment in 1869, the Club has existed solely for the benefit of its members. Its structure as a mutual insurance association enables it to respond to the changing needs of its assureds and allows it to provide superior service, attention and coverage.

The UK P&I Club is directed by the members. Overall control lies with the directors, elected by the members from amongst themselves. The directors normally meet four times a year to formulate policy on calls, the scope of cover, finance, underwriting and claims matters, reinsurance and issues affecting the P&I world. They resolve specific claims which may not fall clearly within the cover.

Thomas Miller, the Club’s managers, is organised to respond promptly to requests for assistance and to provide informed advice and help with members’ claims. Individual support goes far beyond that normally provided by a commercial insurer.

The UK Club’s size and the scale of the managers’ operations has enabled the latter to develop specialist skills and expertise seldom seen in marine P&I.

In 350 ports around the world, on-the-spot help and local expertise is always available to members and the masters of their ships from the Club’s 460 correspondents and claims handling services and advice from the network of offices and branches in London, Piraeus, New Jersey, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.

Thomas Miller

The Thomas Miller Group manages a number of world-leading mutual insurance organisations or “clubs, ” providing insurance for shipping, transport and professional indemnity risks; and captive insurance companies in the Isle of Man and Bermuda. Thomas Miller provides risk management consultancy services and, through its regulated specialist subsidiaries, delivers a full investment management service to mutual clubs, captives and other clients. The firm incorporated in 1999 and is owned and controlled by its 550 employees worldwide.

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