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Tug Technology & Business

Tug Technology & Business

Tugs assist stranded container ships

Tue 15 May 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Tugs assist stranded container ships
Search and rescue tug Miguel de Cervantes was deployed to assist the stranded container ship Kubilai Khan

Tugs came to the rescue of dry cargo ships in the Mediterranean and off the Canary Islands in the past week. Salvage and port tugs demonstrated their ability to avert serious maritime accidents through the towage of two container ships and one general cargo vessel.

On 13 May, container ship Kubilai Khan suffered engine failure and started drifting north of Las Palmas, Canary Islands. Specialist search and rescue tug Miguel de Cervantes was deployed to assist the stranded container ship. This 2005-built, 56 m tug was able to tow the 1996-built, 5,996 gt container ship to Las Palmas on 14 May for repairs.

Engine trouble was also the cause of a stranded ship blocking the Egyptian port of Damietta on 12 May. Hapag-Lloyd’s large container ship Frankfurt Express ran into trouble while manoeuvring in the harbour, blocking quaysides and navigation channels.

Port tugs were deployed to move 2010-built, 8,000 TEU Frankfurt Express away from trouble and out of the way from other ships. Crew were able to repair the engine failure and resume the voyage to Spain, according to Fleetmon.

Also on 12 May, Royal Wagenborg-operated general cargo ship Marietje Nora needed emergency towage in the Ionian Sea, after suffering damage. This 2015-built ship was en route to Ravenna, Italy, from Denmark when it ran into trouble. A tug towed this ship to Corfu, Greece for repairs.

In the Azores, a wrecked ferry will soon be removed after a salvage company deployed tugs and a lift platform on 12 May. Resolve Salvage & Fire transferred two tugs and platform RMG 280 to Horta ready to begin removal work.

It deployed tugs Resolve Hercules and Resolve Commander to the Atlantic islands. These will be used for dismantling and removing ferry Mestre Simao, which ran aground on the rocks at the port of Madalena on Pico Island on 6 January, according to Vesseltracker.

Resolve operates a fleet of salvage tugs in key locations worldwide, including in Gibraltar, where its tugs can be swiftly deployed for salvage projects.

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