Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Santa Isobel arrives at Felixstowe completely empty to help alleviate storage pressure 10th Dec 2018

The Santa Isobel has been chartered to alleviate the pressure on storage yards in European on the run up to Christmas. The vessel arrived a couple of weeks ago on a mission to help Felixstowe clear out some empty containers to Wilhelmshaven in Germany before heading to Zeebrugge then onto Felixstowe for her second load of containers. Arriving today Santa Isobel was completely empty with a draught of 7.1 metres at the aft and 5 metres at the bow. The Harwich Haven pilot disembarked the outbound MSC Oliver onto the pilot launch St Brendan then hopped aboard the Santa Isobel at the Sunk. As they were heading inbound via the deep water route, the pilot radios Harwich VTS to confirm the draught and tug order. VTS replies with the height of tide and wind speed and direction on the Landguard Gauge. The pilot replies that he would like one tug for berthing to meet outside the harbour for a port swing off the berth. Approaching the harbour, the pilot begins to ease off the revs to start decrease headway., Svitzer Kent leaves the tug pontoon to head out of the harbour to assist the pilot with the port swing for Felixstowe berth 9 by making fast centre lead aft. Rounding the 90° Beach End, the top of Santa Isobel's propeller could be seen splashing above the water as she was so light draughted. The pilot trickling the engine ahead making the propeller rotate slowly. The pilot then gets the Kent to pull straight astern at the weight of the tug to help her grind to a holt. The pilot then kicks the engine ahead with the rudder hard to port to help the bow steer to port. Soon after the bow and stern thrusters came on to swing her to port, Kent just finding her way around the stern of the ship begins to pull at minimum weight. After swinging the pilot uses the bow and stern thrust the other way to steadily push her against the strong current alongside the berth. Finally closing up to the berth, the crew on port shoulder throw a heaving line attached to the forward spring lines down to the mooring gang to make her fast alongside. Final tie up 4 and 2 with springs for and aft.  
ETD 03:00 on the 12th December 2018.

Pic credits to Robin Pridmore

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