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Tug Technology & Business

Tug Technology & Business

Salvage operators feel the squeeze as purse strings tighten

Tue 08 Aug 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Salvage operators feel the squeeze as purse strings tighten

Editor Martyn Wingrove explains the vital services that tug operators and the salvage companies deliver to the shipping industry

Salvors face many technical and financial challenges as they continue to provide maritime safety and emergency response services.

The importance of the salvage industry to shipping is most important in the world’s busiest shipping lanes, many of which are in Asia.

Asian salvors have to tackle ever larger ships that are trying to sail through narrow sea lanes in the waters around China, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

They provide essential safety and environmental services to shipping in all weather and sea conditions.

Tug operators are usually one of the first on the scene of a shipping accident, saving seafarer lives, recovering cargo, mitigating losses for the industry and preventing pollution.

But their margins are being squeezed by the industry they serve. This means there are fewer funds for investment in equipment and people that the salvage industry depends on.

Many of these issues and challenges are outlined in an interview with International Salvage Union president John Witte in the next issue of Tug Technology & Business, which is due to be published later this month.

The issues facing the salvage industry will also be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s inaugural Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference, which is supported by platinum sponsor Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. The conference will be held in Singapore on 18th and 19th of September. There will be a dedicated session on salvage in Asia’s busy waterways and sea lanes.

During this session, there will be presentations by salvage experts from tug operators such as Resolve Salvage and Smit Salvage, while there will be a briefing on the risks and regulations of wreck removal from Gard.

The technical and financial risks that salvors face are substantial. The services they provide in saving lives, preventing pollution and clearing of wrecks are vital to the industry. The whole of the shipping industry needs to appreciate these efforts and fund them appropriately.

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