Tsavliris rescue tow details

The 'Scandinavian Reefer' was towed to Rotterdam by the tug 'Dutch Spirit' (Tsavliris) The 'Scandinavian Reefer' was towed to Rotterdam by the tug 'Dutch Spirit' (Tsavliris)
Industry Database

Tsavliris Salvage has published details of recent rescue tows illustrating the degree of background preparation and activity of what could perhaps be considered just another tow job.

Earlier this year the bulk carrier Ecofaith G.O. (81,883dwt) suffered a breakage of its intermediate shaft while on passage in ballast condition from China to Prince Rupert, Canada via South Korea. At the time, it was around 214 miles from Kodiak Island, Alaska and 650 miles from Prince Rupert. Due to movement of the shaft the vessel was leaking water into the engine room.

Tsavliris, as appointed salvor and its ‘partners/subcontractors’ Resolve Marine and Alaska Maritime Agencies immediately started making the necessary arrangements and Foss Maritime’s ice-class, twin-screw ocean tug Michele Foss (7,268bhp) was dispatched to assist. It arrived on site in adverse weather conditions around five days later and established a towage connection the following day.

The plan involved towing the disabled vessel to Dutch Harbor for emergency attendance and underwater inspection before continuing with the second leg involving a tow to China for permanent repairs.

Prior to commencement of the tow, and under the salvor’s instructions the tail shaft was secured to avoid it turning and to minimise the risk of further water ingress. A Tsavliris salvage team was mobilised from Greece to Dutch Harbor comprising senior salvage master/naval architect and senior salvage engineer.

Several days later teams from both Tsavliris and its subcontractor boarded Resolve Marine’s tug Resolve Pioneer at Dutch Harbor to inspect the Ecofaith G.O. as per USCG requirements.  The following day they rendezvoused with the convoy where it was established there was neither any water pumping out activity nor signs of pollution.

The convoy arrived safely at Board Bay the next day where the ship was secured to the emergency mooring buoy with assistance from two port tugs and a mooring boat allowing the salvage team to inspect the engine room. It was established the temporary repairs had been carried out satisfactorily, the shaft well secured and the water ingress rate stable. Divers started plugging and sealing the stern tube while engineers took measurements for fabrication of steel plates and stiffeners in order to secure the shafting system in place.

The vessel was then moved to an alongside berth allowing salvors to continue to prepare the vessel for onward tow to China. Temporary repairs to the shafting continued and once divers completed sealing the stern tube the integrity was tested by ballasting the ship, a towing bracket was also fitted on the forecastle. Finally, 20 days after first involvement, salvage services were terminated and Tsavliris handed the ship back to its owners and it was subsequently towed to Zhoushan, China for permanent repairs by the Alp Maritime tug Alp Striker.

When the container vessel Efendi Baba (7.014dwt) reported main engine problems while north-east of Tenes, Algeria, Tsavliris despatched the British-owned tug MTS Vigilant (48tbp) from Cartagena, Spain to its assistance.

Efendi Baba was laden with around 6,300t of steel products and bad weather conditions and strong currents at the scene resulted in the ship drifting close to the coast. The rate of drift was slowed after the port anchor was lowered and soon after MTS Vigilant arrived and established a towage connection, all under the watchful eye of the Algerian coast guard vessel Al-Munjid. The ship was towed into international waters and then onto Malaga in Spain where Efendi Baba was handed over to port tugs and salvage services were terminated.

Finally, in the North Sea around 45 miles from Flushing the reefer Scandinavian Reefer had anchored laden with refrigerated products following a mechanical breakdown. Tsavliris despatched the Dutch-flagged and owned tug Dutch Power (45tbp) from Rotterdam to the vessel’s assistance. A towing connectio was quickly made and the convoy headed for Rotterdam where the tow was handed over to port tugs for final delivery to the Opticool Fruitport at Lekhaven whereafter the Dutch Power was released.

By Peter Barker

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