'Christine' prepares to establish a towing connection with 'Islay Trader' (Photo: Margate RNLI) 'Christine' prepares to establish a towing connection with 'Islay Trader' (Photo: Margate RNLI)

A Medway-based tug has come to the aid of a general cargo vessel that dragged its anchor and ran aground at Margate on the UK’s north Kent coast.

The Islay Trader came to rest less than 100m from the promenade and around 2m from a life size Antony Gormley sculpture installed on rocks. Unable to refloat by itself the vessel sat out the low tide and with AJ & A Pratt’s Christine just a few hours steaming away the tug was quickly engaged to refloat the vessel.

At next high tide Islay Trader was refloated by Christine and went to anchor in Margate Roads before sailing to Antwerp; its original destination. The vessel was subsequently found to be undamaged and no injuries or pollution were reported following the incident.

Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation (MTSC) has provided towage support to the first LNG ship-to-ship transfer (STS) operation at Subic Bay.

The operation follows MTSC’s involvement with the biggest iron ore transhipment at Subic for Vale in 2014 and four tugs were deployed for this latest task, Lidagat, Defiance, Malasugui-1 and Ilongo providing a combined total of 15,100hp. The transhipment involved the 105,335grt Malaysian-flagged LNG carrier Seri Bakti as mother ship. This vessel is expected to conduct initially two STS operations per month with volumes increasing to six per month by the end of this year.

Lobith, the Netherlands-based Shipyard De Hoop has announced details of an order for six tugs for its client, a consortium of Blue Water Shipping and Caspian Offshore Construction.

De Hoop had already received an engineering order to commence design of the vessels on the back of a three year plus options contract for Caspian Offshore Contractors assisting barges and vessels in the Caspian Sea to locations in Kazakhstan. The order involves design and construction of four ice-class 40tbp ASD tugs and two 30tbp harbour tugs. Construction is reported to be already underway and delivery to Kazakhstan is scheduled for 2018.

Robert Allan Ltd has announced the addition to its team of Sami Uotinen, to be responsible for its European development initiatives.

Mr Uotinen is a marine industry professional with a long and distinguished work record in a number of fields including with Aquamaster, Kamewa and Kvaerner Masa Yards. He has worked for Rolls-Royce since 2000 and lived in Canada between 2001 and 2004 as contracts manager for Rolls-Royce in Coquitlam. More recently he has been the North American sales manager for Z-drive propulsion.

He is a graduate naval architect and Robert Allan Ltd state his experience in the propulsion sector will greatly enhance the company’s ability to provide well thought out and balanced design solutions to meet its customers’ needs. Mr Uotinen will operate from his home base in Turku Finland.

By Peter Barker

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