Emergency Vessel Attachment & Towing System (EVATS™)

  • Client:
    Alaska Chadux Network
  • Completion Date:
    April 2019
  • Key Collaborator:
    Samson Rope
  • Project Type:
    Technology Development
  • Service Categories:
    Ocean Engineering
    Marine Consulting
  • Challenge:
    Develop a safer, more reliable system for emergency towing.


When oceangoing ships become disabled at sea, the process of establishing an emergency towing connection using conventional methods can be extremely dangerous, especially in heavy weather, low light, or low-visibility conditions. Moreover, conventional emergency towing systems utilize a design wherein nearly the entire line load is transmitted to a single bitt or other deck fitting on the ship, subjecting it to forces it was not designed to withstand. Consequently, emergency towing connections can fail and further endanger vessels, crews, and the environment. The Alaska Chadux Network sought to address these issues and contracted Glosten to engineer a solution.

Glosten, with support from Samson Rope Technologies, went on to develop a unique Emergency Vessel Attachment & Towing System (EVATS™). EVATS™ is designed to overcome the most dangerous aspects of emergency towing by making the process of connecting to disabled vessels safer and more efficient and enabling a more robust towing connection. It is also portable and universally compatible with ships’ mooring gear arrangements.



EVATS™ is intended to be deployed from a disabled ship into the water, where the towing end is then recovered from the surface. Alternatively, it can be deployed from a towing vessel to a disabled ship using conventional methods. The system connects to multiple attachment points on a ship’s bow, distributing line loads equally, and uses positively buoyant materials that can be deployed and recovered from the surface. A pilot anchor installed on the retrieving line allows the end of the hawser to be recovered at a safer distance from the disabled ship relative to conventional methods.

EVATS™ is packaged in a compact high-strength tote bin, such that it can be included in the cache of onboard safety equipment on any vessel. The two standard EVATS™ designs (300 MT and 411 MT) exceed the strength requirements established by SOLAS for emergency towing systems. The system has proven itself during practical trials and recently enabled the successful rescue of a containership that experienced mechanical trouble 250 miles west of the Columbia River Bar.

  • EVATS Schematic

The EVATS system has many merits and constitutes a decided advance over what exists in the marketplace.

– Joel Altus, Foss Maritime