Tsavliris Complete Three Month Varyag Tow
The aircraft carrier Varyag was towed to China by Nikolay Chiker.
The Tsavliris Salvage Group has delivered the half-finished aircraft carrier Varyag to her new owners in China at the end of a marathon towage operation lasting 110 days.
The contract between Tsavliris Russ and Agencia Turistica E Diversoes Chong Lot Limited of Macau dates back to last November after the Ukrainian built carrier was towed through the Straits of Bosporus and the Dardanelles with Nikolay Chiker playing the all-important 'braking and steering role' in the convoy.
At 300m in length the rudderless, engine-less, aircraft carrier was thought to represent a hazard in the Straits but this leg of the journey was completed without mishap. After Nikolay Chiker disconnected, fierce early November gales in the Aegean caused the Varyag to break loose from her towing tugs and drift dangerously close to the islands of Skros and Evia. Following this incident, the giant Tsavliris tug was rehired by Agencia Turistica to secure the vessel, to perform the Mediterranean leg of the tow and subsequently the remainder of the delivery voyage.
The hull and main structure of Varyag had been completed for a decade and became the property of Ukraine at the end of the 'Cold War' and was sold in 1998, since when she has attracted world-wide media attention. Purchasers of the carrier have announced plans to convert the giant ship into a Casino, but there has been international speculation that she maybe used as the model for the creation of a new Chinese fleet of aircraft carriers.
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