Availability of Tugs of Opportunity in Canada’s Pacific Region

Providing an emergency tow rescue for disabled ships is a vital emergency service. To fulfill this service, the Pacific Region of Canada relies on a combination of dedicated Emergency Tug Vessels (ETVs) and “tugs of opportunity,” which are commercial tugs hired for rescue operations when the need arises. The Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping contracted Nuka Research to analyze the capability and availability of tugs of opportunity in the region.

The report examines the movements and tug capabilities of more than 200 tugs identified using Automatic Identification System data, identifying areas where commercial tugs have been present in the past, how frequently, and their capabilities. The report identifies gaps in preparedness, such as an inability to rescue the largest ships with most current tugs of opportunity, and a long response delay due to the availability and location of potential tugs of opportunity.

Client: Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping

Project Dates: 2017-July 2019