Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Drilling platform Paragon C20051 and her towing tugs slowly enters the Harwich Haven25th August 2018

Completing a contract in the North Sea, the Paragon C20051 began it's journey to Harwich International to be laid up and have maintaince before it's next contract. The journey took several days with the lead tug Zezus of Finland and Thor. As this was a very slow process of just 4.7 knots most of the way, the decision was made to go to anchor in the Bwadsey Anchorage for the night as bringing it in during night time would be very challenging. For the rest of the journey inbound two Svitzer tugs helped with the tow the last stretch. Svitzer Kent and Svitzer Shotley both make their way to the Bwadsey Anchorage to assist. Kent was on the port side but running astern the whole way in and the Shotley took up on the aft and would be used as a brake to stop the platform nearer the final position. With a pilot launch heading out to meet the lead tug to board a pilot the wind and current would challenge the launch skipper to the max. The plan was to board the pilot on the port side as there would be more room but going so slow the launch couldn't safely board the pilot as they just kept coming away from the side, so they tried the starboard side with success. Slowly making headway inwards, Stena Britiannica requested to depart from Parkeston 2, VTS said that when possible to take the North Channel out to give the Paragon flotilla a clear channel into the harbour. The Haven Hobby helping the flotilla out by keeping leisure vessels out of the channel and Harwich VTS giving a navigational warning over the radio. Also heading inbound was the 152 metre StarII loaded with about 8000 tonnes of Camel Dung from Abu Kir in Egypt. She was heading for the 500ft berth in Ipswich. As she was a large ship for Ipswich, it was requested that two tugs would assist with a swing at the top of the harbour and onto the berth. A Svitzer tug to follow behind then make fast centre lead aft near Woolverstone and the second tug the Gray Salvor to make fast centre lead forward near the Orwell Bridge. Approaching the harbour, the Paragon and the tugs navigate 5°at a time around the 90° Beach End turn and up the harbour. Turning to starboard to enter the River Stour a yacht decides to cross the channel in front of the flotilla making the lead tug captain a bit nervous. Haven Hobby to the rescue powers straight to the yacht to get them out the way. Approaching the berth,Svitzer Shotley lays back to decrease headway so the other tugs can turn the Paragon onto the final position edging closer to the berth. The Deben Trojan helps with making the Paragon fast on the bollards. Once in position the Paragon begins to lower the legs to the sea bed for a soft anchor then at a later time Jack up out of the water.
Later in the day all tugs are stood down, the two Svitzer tugs go back to the pontoon and the Zesus of Finland and Thor head out of the harbour into the North Sea for their next towing job.

Pic credits Robin Pridmore


Published on 28 Aug 2018

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