Fire Wires - Emergency Towing Off Pennants (ETOPS)

OCIMF has published a position paper which recommended the elimination of the Emergency Towing Off Pennants (ETOPS), commonly known as "Fire Wires" from ISGOTT and the ISGOTT Checklist since it is not an essential piece of equipment for vessel's safety.

What ships does it apply :
All Tankers

When does it come into force :
Immediately

OCIMF commenced a study in 2002 on the ETOPS effectiveness.  The study revealed that whereas since 1967, no instances had been documented where the ETOPS had been used, some seventeen hundreds injuries to personnel, both minor and serious, had occurred when handling large steel "fire wires".  Efforts were made to determine a lighter rope of fiber construction with strength equivalent to steel wire rope, however, a consensus was not reached and in 2007, a risk assessment by Lloyds Register was commissioned.  The Lloyds Register's assessment concluded that the use of ETOPS should no longer be recommended and this was accepted by OCIMF.


Note : This is not adopted by all terminals and berths and therefore, one should check with terminals or berths whether they require fire wires to be deployed or not.

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