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Motoryacht capsized after hitting tow wire

Jan 1, 2003

The dangers of crossing between a tug and barge were il-lustrated recently when a 40-foot powerboat ran over a tow wire and was capsized near Vancouver, B.C. Five people were killed in the incident, which occurred in English Bay just after dark on Aug. 7. Nine other passengers were aboard the Bayliner, which was moving at an estimated 10 knots through the water, but were not seriously hurt. The tug and barge was displaying proper lights, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. A tug towing a barge on a wire or soft hawser must display, along with standard running lights, two white masthead lights over the pilothouse and have a yellow light on the stern. If the length of the tow from stern of the tug to stern of barge exceeds 200 meters (660 feet) the tug will show three white stacked masthead lights. A barge being towed will display red and green running lights forward and a white stern light. Consult the Navigation Rules, International and Inland, for more information on identifying lights, signals, and dayshapes.


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