Damen tugs for UK ports

'Graham Robertson' will undertake multiple roles including plough dredging (Damen) 'Graham Robertson' will undertake multiple roles including plough dredging (Damen)

Port authority owners in Northern Ireland and the Bristol Channel area of south west England have taken delivery of two modified Damen tugs.

The first delivery to report concerns a multi-role Shoalbuster 2308S for The Bristol Port Company where towing will be just one of a number of roles for the modified vessel. The vessel, named Graham Robertson is equipped to carry out duties including: plough dredging, towing, pilotage and survey duties and marks the first contract between Damen and The Bristol Port Company.

The adaptable design of the 23m long vessel, completed at Damen’s Hardinxveld premises, allowed additional equipment to be fitted to satisfy the multi-purpose requirements of the owner. Plough dredging is its primary role, an aft-mounted A-frame allowing maximum water depths to be maintained within the port’s docks.

A hydraulic deck crane provides Graham Robertson with the ability to carry out buoy installation, maintenance and repair work and a dismountable pilot platform provides for occasional piloting tasks. It is also equipped for firefighting with towing capabilities provided by a towing hook.

Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld delivered the vessel just 15 weeks after contract signing and Arjen van Elk, Damen UK sales manager commented: "It is an honour to work with the Bristol Port Company for the first time – delivering this compact, multifunctional vessel within a tight time frame." Adding: "We look forward to seeing the Graham Robertson prove itself as a valuable asset in the Bristol Port Company’s ambitions for growth and development."

Damen’s second UK success sees the ASD Tug 2310 Strathfoyle delivered to Foyle Port at the south-west end of Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland. The new tug becomes the most powerful in the port’s three-tug fleet, joining another Damen vessel, the Stan Tug 1605 Otterbank delivered in 1996.

Strathfoyle will be serving a diverse range of vessels at the port where primary cargoes are bulk goods arriving at the Lisahally Terminal and oil products at the LSS Oil Terminal. Foyle port is also a destination for cruise ships.

As with the Bristol Port tug, Strathfoyle has also been modified to suit the customer’s specific requirements including an aftdeck winch allowing for salvage work outside the sheltered confines of Lough Foyle. An additional deck crane is also included increasing the scope of harbour work. The 50tbp tug was built at Damen’s China shipyard at Changde and is classed within the UK Workboat Code.

The modifications are described as making Strathfoyle as much a workboat as tug and as well as increasing the fleet’s bollard pull in response to increases in ship size, it adds another asset to the port’s expanding Marine Services division. It will also be available for charter for coastal towage work or harbour towage at other ports.

By Peter Barker

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