From the post Death on the River Clyde: a tug is tripped and three men are lost in Scotland, from the site Master of Towing Vessels Association Forum:
"I would seriously question the wisdom of ever being out in front of a ship at all in conditions like that unless it was an actual dead-ship tow."- read it if you do ship assist work.
I have limited experience with ship assist work but I have though that the way tugs make up in Europe, made upfore and aft on the center line, is in some cases more risky then the method used in the U.S and Japan, made up on the side.
Sometimes it can not be avoided as in the case of passing though a narrow bridge as in Rotterdam (my post below).
I would like know what other pilots and tug masters have to say on this subject.