Busy times for Tsavliris

A towage connection is established with  'VSC Poseidon' (Tsavliris) A towage connection is established with 'VSC Poseidon' (Tsavliris)
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With annual statistics covering Lloyd’s Open Form cases considered elsewhere in this column who better than Tsavliris Salvage to turn to for a snapshot of typical recent salvage activities.

Greek salvor Tsavliris claims to be the most frequent user of LOF contracts and is one of few remaining salvage contractors maintaining tugs on permanent station at strategic locations. The incidents below may appear routine but are examples of how such day-to-day work for the likes of Tsavliris are vital for protecting the marine environment, reducing financial losses and of course safeguarding the lives of seafarers.

All three involve disabled bulk carriers and the first was in August this year when Tsavliris assisted MV Triumph which was immobilised around 1,050 miles west of Port Ensenada, Mexico while on passage from Port Rhoades, Jamaica to China loaded with 47,000 tonnes of bauxite.

Tsavliris engaged the 7,268bhp ocean tug Michelle Foss to assist and after loading ten drums of oil for the casualty, set out from Seattle. It arrived a few days later and while able to deliver fresh water was unable to transfer the oil to Triumph due to the prevailing swell.

A towing connection was established and despite heavy yawing, the tow reached the safety of Ensenada around two weeks later. After delivering the drums of oil Michelle Foss was released upon completion of the contract.

Tsavliris faced a complex operation when another bulker, VSC Poseidon laden with 54,000 tonnes of coking coal and en route from Mobile, USA to Richards Bay, South Africa anchored with machinery problems north of Salvador, Brazil. The tugs TS Merito and TS Favorito were inspected by a Tsavliris salvage master and contracted to assist from their base in Rio de Janeiro.

Strong winds hampered the initial establishment of a towing connection to VSC Poseidon and despite the vessel dragging its anchor towards submerged fibre-optic cables, towlines were eventually connected and in difficult conditions the ship was towed to a safer anchorage. Eventually, with the assistance of the two original tugs and a further two port tugs VSC Poseidon was delivered to another anchorage for repairs where a salvage master could board.

The third case reported here involves the 22,456dwt Rainbow Harmony which encountered generator failure while laden with 32,000 tonnes of palm kernel expeller around 300 miles west of Luanda, Angola. Tsavliris was appointed salvor and engaged the services of the AHTS UOS Explorer which arrived on scene three days after sailing from Limbe, Cameroon.

After supplying the ship with fresh water, a towage connection was established with the destination Walvis Bay, Namibia. Arriving at the anchorage just over a week later, UOS Explorer provided standby services for a further three weeks before being released upon completion of the operation.

By Peter Barker

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