Emergency tows

Harbour Patrol craft will provide emergency towing support for vessels in distress. This service is free and will return a vessel to a nearby point of safety within the Harbour. In this case, the first 24 hours alongside a Harbour Authority facility will also be free of charge to rectify any defects. Longer than 24 hours will be charged.

Planned tows

Planned tows may also be executed subject to availability. Contact the Harbour Office to discuss requirements. Planned towage will be charged at the rate of £61 per hour.

Tows of up to 22 meters (the length of the towing line added to the length of the towed object/vessel) may take place without Harbour Authority approval. For tows exceeding 22 metres in overall length, a towage authorisation form must be submitted to the Harbour Office for approval at least five days before the operation takes place.

Commercial towing

Commercial towing may take place within the River Hamble. The person responsible for the safety and planning of the manoeuvre will act as the towing master. They must be clearly identified and will be responsible for producing a risk assessment, method statement and passage plan. These arrangements must be discussed and agreed in advance with the Harbour Authority.

Towing in restricted visibility

All tows in fog or restricted visibility are particularly hazardous. If visibility is less than 400 metres, tows must proceed at very slow speed and with extreme caution, monitoring VHF ch 68 throughout. An escort by a Harbour patrol vessel will be provided upon request (if available). If visibility is less than 100 metres, approval for tows will normally be postponed until visibility improves. 

Yacht on tow by harbour patrol
Yacht on tow by harbour patrol