Monday, 11 February 2019

Britannia Seaways departs a gusty Felixstowe with the assistance of 2 Svitzer tugs 8th February 2019

DFDS ferry Britannia Seaways orders one tug for departure from Felixstowe Ro-Ro4 as the South Westerly winds steadily increase over the next 2 hours. 30 minutes from departure the captain requests another tug to carefully ease her off the berth and a swing to port. Svitzer Shotley had helped the Britannia Seaways off the berth the previous day as winds were still causing issues. Today's winds were greater with some strong gusts, the decision for a second tug is not taken lightly as the costs involved but with how the winds were it was the safest option.

Svitzer Deben makes fast on the port quarter while Svitzer Shotley makes fast centre lead forward. Stena Hollandica passes through the harbour outbound for Hoek van Holland as the Britannia Seaways singles up and begin breaking away from the berth. Steadily, she comes off the berth with the power of the tugs and bow thruster. After a little while the captain trickles the engine ahead and increases the Shotley forward to swing the bow to port. Deben eases to let the Shotley swing the bow. As the Britannia Seaways picks up some headway, Shotley gets in a let go position and peels off onto the Felixstowe side. Shortly after the Deben closes up and released a few minutes later. Both tugs head back to the tug pontoon to lay in wait for the inbound CSCL Globe which had requested all 4 Svitzer tugs.

Who thumbs-down with no explanation? ... Deben is my favourite tug, cool. Thank you.

Before 7am, a Harwich Haven pilot boards the OOCL Japan from the shore side and heads up to the bridge where a departure plan is confirmed with the captain. Three Svitzer tugs were ordered and make their way to make fast for departure. Svitzer Kent makes fast centre lead aft, Svitzer Sky makes fast starboard quarter and Svitzer Deben makes fast centre lead forward. They all get ready for the pull off the berth. Winds were steadily increasing over the early hours of morning with gusts up to 25 knots due to storm Erik. As the OOCL Japan singled up to just springs, a pilot was preparing to head outbound to the Sunk on a pilot launch for the CSCL Globe which had been anchored in the Deep Water Anchorage for a day or so. After a stop at Felixstowe tug pontoon, the launch heads outbound battling choppy sea created by the brisk south Westerly. The Japan let's go from the berth and the pilot begins with the departure. Kent and Deben starts to build up to 50% with the Sky following soon after. Before long the Kent builds to full power to get the stern out into the channel. After a while the Deben increases to full to get the bow into the channel. In the process of departing, the pilot gives a few kicks ahead on the main engine to stop the headway. OOCL Japan enters the channel, the pilot runs the engine ahead to head south down the harbour. Sky comes in to let go from the quarter and is stood down by the pilot. Next, the Deben forward comes into a let go position and peels off onto the Felixstowe side. The Deben was required to position on the most aft tug marker on the port quarter ready for the Beach End turn out of the harbour. Approaching the Fort Buoy, Kent begins to move out onto the starboard side for a powered indirect at full line load. In this weather the Deben pushes up at a 40° angle to help steer around the Beach end. Safely around the corner Deben is stood down and heads back to the pontoon. Kent is released from aft. They both head to the pontoon where they make a plan for the inbound CSCL Globe which would require all 4 Svitzer tugs.

Published on 8 Feb 2019

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