Research and analysis

Safety lessons: preparing for non-standard towage operations

A safety message for tug operators and the ports industry highlighting the risks associated with a combined push-pull towage configuration.


MAIB safety flyer issued May 2012

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


This summary concerns a barge colliding with its tow, causing the tug, Chiefton, to capsize and sink with loss of 1 life.

The information has been prepared for:

  • tug operators
  • the ports industry

An investigation report has also been produced for this accident.

Published 23 May 2012