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”Esvagt Gamma” on an emergency towing job

Press Release   •   Apr 15, 2014 08:32 BST

'Esvagt Gamma' towed the 'Bremen Hunter' to a safe anchorage

”Esvagt Gamma” reacted to an emergency call from a German supply vessel with engine failure. The vessel was towed to a safe anchorage.

The evening before Christmas Eve was not especially comfortable for the 10-man crew on the German supply vessel “Bremen Hunter”. Engine failure and a complete blackout made the crew send out a ‘Mayday call’, to which ”Esvagt Gamma” and ”Esvagt Observer” reacted.

- When ”Esvagt Gamma” reached the position for “Bremen Hunter” on 23 December at 06:00 PM, she was rolling 35 degrees to either side. The weather was miserable and on the way to becoming even worse, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen, Chief Commercial & Safety Officer in ESVAGT:

- The ”Esvagt Gamma” crew was in dialogue with the German crew, and the situation was looked upon there and considered as being so precarious that ”Bremen Hunter” had to be towed to a safe anchorage, he says.

Excellent training

Due to lack of power on board the German vessel we could not transfer a heavy towing wire. We tried to tow the vessel by means of hawsers, but the rudder had got stuck in hard starboard, which made the vessel shear our during the towing.

- The crew considered to anchor the vessel up, but with the forecast of even higher winds they chose to chase the anchors with a J hook, so that the vessel could be towed to a safe anchorage sheltered from the sea and wind, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen.

The operation was successful and well arrived at the anchorage in the Ålbæk Bay south of Skagen, the crew on the German vessel actually managed to get the engine started again, so that she could go to port on her own power.

- ESVAGT focuses on the customers’ needs and does normally not perform salvage operations. There are plenty of specialists all over the North Sea to do that. We have specialized in a different kind of operation that our customers very much appreciate. But when it became clear that it was a life threatening situation, everything changes, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen.

Together with Steffen Rudbech Nielsen, Head of Operation Ship Management, and Ib Hansen, Head of Commercial, he represented the second line preparedness onshore in a management group that met at 10:00 PM and stayed on the job till the next morning to follow the salvage operation closely.

- We have praised the crew for an impressive achievement. The towing was done safely and professionally and we had a good training drill for our second line preparedness, which worked excellently, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen.

ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.

We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.

In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.

ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.