Port tugs from Dover Harbour Board have come to the assistance of one tug towing another tug which encountered propulsion problems in the busy shipping lanes of the Dover Straits Separation Scheme.

Both tugs moored safely in Dover Harbour (Mike Jackson)

Both tugs moored safely in Dover Harbour (Mike Jackson)

Last month MJ reported on ‘tugs of opportunity’ coming to the aid of vessels in trouble and this was another example, the incident taking place not far from Dover harbour. The towing tug NAS Pathfinder has since been detained by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency after 17 deficiencies were found. The tug being towed was the 1978-built Puma formerly Marechiaro but perhaps better known when new as United Towing’s Yorkshireman.

Dordrecht, the Netherlands-based towage and heavy transport specialist Muller has strengthened its fleet of multipurpose tugs with the addition of the ASD tug En Avant 30.

The new addition, previously the Rigel and part of the Italian Neri fleet was built by Armon Spain in 2011 and introduces what will be a significant boost to Muller’s fleet. With a length overall of 40.7m it offers an impressive 110tbp from two MAN 9L 27/38 engines of 3,285kW each powering Schottel azimuth thrusters. An escort winch forward and anchor handling/towing winch aft make En Avant 30 capable of multiple roles and worthy of note is its fifi2 capability from two Kvaerner pumps each of 3,600m3/hr supplying two remote-controlled water/foam monitors.

Continuing the theme of established towage companies acquiring new tonnage, another notable transaction has seen Wagenborg Towage taking delivery of the 1988 built tug Boa Tyr from Norway’s Boa Offshore, renaming it Waterman.

Built by Båtservice Mandal AS Waterman has an impressive pedigree. Originally named Vivax owned by Østensjø Rederi it next became Eide Master for Eide before transferring to Boa Offshore. Main particulars are: LOA 33.3m, beam 10m, draught 5m and a gt figure of 429t. The new addition for Wagenborg provides a useful 60 tonnes bollard pull.

Landfall Marine Contractors b.v. has been appointed to handle the agency representation of GPS Marine’s shallow-draught anchor-handling tug GPS Avenger.

Damen was taken by surprise at Seawork 2013 when after just half an hour of negotiation GPS Marine acquired the Damen Shoalbuster 2709 on display on the pontoons. GPS Avenger, as it became has served with the UK-based company since and was recently reactivated in the Netherlands after a period of lay-up.

It has now joined the available fleet of tugs operated by Ridderkerk-based Landfall Marine, a fleet that currently stands at 12 vessels ranging from the 9.5tbp inland pusher tug Harmonie to the 53tbp anchor-handling tug Neptun 10. At 38tbp GPS Avenger sits in the mid-range of the vessels available which very much have a Dutch-built theme running through and looking at Landfall’s towage history this UK-owned tug could have an interesting life ahead.

By Peter Barker