Thursday, 14 February 2019

Ultra Large MSC Anna departs after a long weekend stay in the Port of Felixstowe 11th February 2019

MSC Anna had sailed direct from Colombo in Sri Lanka heavily laden with cargo from the Far East. She went alongside Felixstowe Berth 9 on Thursday night around 23:30. A few hours later the OOCL Japan was bought in to Felixstowe Berth 8 which also was heavily laden from the Far East. Storm Erik was causing many issues across the UK with gale force winds. Felixstowe didn't get hit directly but winds were gusting up to 50mph which meant cargo operations had to cease until they were below the safe working limits. A vessel on this route is normally turned around in 48 hours but the wind was going to impact her cargo operations, during Friday she had a departure date of Monday morning but that was likely yo change as the British weather is very unpredictable. Early hours of Monday morning a confirmed departure time was confirmed and the ship's agent orders two tugs for departure. A Harwich Haven pilot boards as the last of the cranes boom up and the gangway is lifted back onboard.  

The two tugs leave the tug pontoon and head to the assist the MSC Anna. The pilot radios the tugs to say he would like the tugs on the centre leads fore and aft. Svitzer Deben makes fast centre lead aft and Svitzer Sky makes fast centre lead forward. Before the tugs make fast, the extra lines that were put out for the strong winds were slackened. A heaving line was thrown down to the Sky so they could attach their tow line and the same with the Deben aft under the stern. Once fast, the tugs back away and let the mooring gang single up to just springs fore and aft before letting them go. The pilot begins with the departure by getting the Deben and Sky to pull off easy then increasing to 25%. Steadily she breaks away from the berth with the tugs. After a while the pilot engages the bow thrusters which produce a puff of black smoke from the funnel. The pilot kicks the engine astern to stop the headway Sky forward increases to 75% to bring the bow towards the channel. Slowly but surely the rest of the MSC Anna enters the channel. After a few more minutes of pulling the Deben stops towing and so does the Sky. The pilot runs the engine ahead, Deben drops in astern while the Sky comes in to a let go position. As the MSC was an ultra large vessel the pilot required the sky to standby on the port side just incase they were needed to extra assistance around the 90° Beach End turn out of the harbour. The Sky was stood down soon after the MSC Anna had rounded the Beach End. Deben is released and they both head back to the pontoon to lay in wait for the inbound vessel, Merete Maersk, which was planned starboard side to Felixstowe berth 9.

Published on 13 Feb 2019

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