Project Spotlight – Glosten Line-throwing & Surface Float Line System Trials

By: Meredith Miller | Consulting

Line-throwing devices are an incredibly important part of rescue towing operations, used to establish an initial connection that ultimately enables the transfer of a towline. Emergency response crews count on these technologies to ensure a successful rescue and avert disaster.  In June of 2021, a Glosten team led by Peter Soles sailed out to Puget Sound to test launch emergency line-throwing and surface float line systems. Also present were members of industry, stakeholders from the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, and representatives from companies which supplied the devices for testing: Restech Norway, Delmar Safety, Hansson PyroTech, Datrex, and Samson Rope Technologies.

The purpose of the trials was to help determine the best available technology (BAT) for establishing a messenger line connection with a disabled vessel at sea. Western Towboat Co. provided Glosten with the Bering Titan as a stand-in for a rescue vessel, and Alaska Marine Lines provided us with the barge that would act as a disabled vessel. The devices selected for the trials were all top-performing systems from a previous BAT study completed by Glosten in May of 2020; the June trials were designed to assess their ease of use, effectiveness, reliability, and safety in a real-world setting. The day provided ideal conditions for the trials. Our team launched the pneumatic, pyrotechnic, and surface float line devices from the deck of the Bering Titan in breezy, clear weather, and every device performed well. To see these devices in action, check out the video below.

To learn more about Glosten’s design and engineering capabilities, take a look at some of our Project Case Studies.