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USCG Tow 14NOV13

US Coast Guard Smallboat Tows Auxiliary Vessel

The crew of the Ring Dang Doo meets up around 0800 at the harbor and readies themselves for a busy day.Today, we have our normal air drop operations, but with a twist! After we're done, a Coast Guard Response Boat - Small (RB-S) will come tow us back into the harbor. This will be a training exercise for the Coast Guard's boat crew. Towing evolutions can be complex and dangerous, so they are practiced often.


Of course, we always start with a Pre-Underway Checklist. Rick Quinn is shown at left conducting this Checklist with his crew before departing the harbor. The Checklist orientates and familiarizes the crew with the vessel and where equipment is stored.

We've already shown you our air drop operations (perhaps you've even seen our video on YouTube!), so we'll skip ahead to the tow. Shown at right is the Coast Guard's RB-S checking us out before he decides how to approach us. In the real world, this is done to check for lines in the water or other hazards. Barry Cottrell watches from the deck of the Ring Dang Doo.


Everything looks good, so the RB-S's coxswain directs his crewman to throw us the heaving line. A heaving line is a small line capable of being thrown to another vessel. It is then tied to a bigger, not-quite-so-easily-thrown line, and that heavy line is pulled aboard to conduct the tow.



From here, we were stern towed back into the harbor. Upon entering the harbor, the main tow line is brought from the stern of the RB-S to the bow. Then three more lines are attached, bringing the two vessels side-by-side. Alongside tows are used to maneuver stricken vessels up to a dock so they can be secured. All-in-all, it was a successful mission. A lot of training and retraining was done, and we can confidently say that the Coast Guard boat crew will remain Semper Paratus!

All photographs courtesy of Member Tom Hammock of Flotilla 3-5. More photos are available on our Facebook page.

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