DISCOVER Magazine #6

Seacontractors’ Stan Tug 3011 Atlantis Scores a recovery hat trick

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal
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The Dutch marine services company Seacontractors BV was only established in 2004, but since then it has become a highly valued customer of Damen having purchased 15 Shoalbusters and two tugs. The tugs are among its most recent acquisitions, having been delivered in 2015. Named the Dian Kingdom and the Atlantis, they were first of the then new Stan Tug 3011 class and for Seacontractors were optimised for anchor handling while retaining their all-round towage and other capabilities.

It was the Atlantis that, in the autumn of 2018, found itself in the unusual position of undertaking three back-to-back emergency tows in the space of just six days.

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The general cargo vessel

It all began on the 29th of September. The Atlantis had delivered a tow to St. Petersburg, Russia, for BP and was on her way to Lubmin, Germany, to pick up another bound for Hull on the UK’s North Sea coast. Her plans suddenly changed when Seacontractors was informed that the general cargo vessel Amadeus, en route from port Vejle, Denmark, to Vaasa, Finland, with 1,200 tonnes of steel sheets on board, was at anchor with her main engines inoperable. Atlantis altered course to intercept her and, once Seacontractors and the insurers of the Amadeus had reached an agreement, took her under tow at her anchorage and delivered her to Klaipeda, Lithuania, mid-afternoon on the 2nd of October.

The ro-ro ferry

It was while that she was retrieving her towing gear from the Amadeus that the Atlantis received another message from Seacontractors’ HQ head-quarters. The passenger ro-ro vessel Regina Seaways was immobilised with 335 people on board with a fire in her engine room while making the passage from Kiel to Klaipeda. Atlantis immediately headed out to meet her as the weather in the Baltic deteriorated rapidly. By the time the tug had reached the Regina Seaways the ferry’s crew had suppressed the fire and restarted one of her engines. Atlantis stood-by and acted as an escort tug as the Regina Seaways made her way to Klaipeda and entered the harbour under her own power that same evening.

The container ship

But even as the Regina Seaways was coming into Klaipeda, the Seacontractors commercial department was busy contracting the Atlantis for yet another vessel in distress. This time the container carrier Iduna had suffered engine failure in the by now gale-force wind conditions. On reaching the stricken vessel its master and that of the Atlantis agreed that it was not possible to get a tow line on board her, and so the Atlantis remained there on stand-by until the wind dropped away to more manageable levels. The following morning the connection was made and the Atlantis made her third entrance in just two days into Klaipeda with a distressed vessel in her care.

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“With its 70 tonnes of bollard pull the Damen Stan Tug 3011 is a good towing tug,” said Paul Vermeulen, Commercial Director at Seacontractors.

Both the Atlantis and the Dian Kingdom are kept very busy.

Indeed! With the Iduna secure in Klaipeda, the Atlantis continued to Lubmin to pick up her next tow, delivered that to Hull, and then headed for Rotterdam where she collected with a double tow to Fos-sur-Mer in the Mediterranean.

Seacontractors’ vessels can be found at work all over the world. They have to date undertaken projects in more than 20 countries across five continents.

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