Sunday, 10 March 2019

High Winds And Heavy Seas At Felixstowe Sunday Morning / 55 knot winds cancels 2 ultra large movements but the Fenja struggles to arrive at Felixstowe 10/03/19

Pic credits to Paul Woolston

A relatively calm morning soon disappears as squally heavy showers pass through the harbour. Not surprising, two ultra large movements were cancelled. Marseille Maersk which was preparing to depart from Felixstowe Berth 9 with all four Svitzer tugs requested but a decision between the pilot and captain postponed their sailing after the ship recorded 55 knot gusts which was deemed to unsafe to cast away. Safety comes first when moving such large ships. At the same time, out at the Sunk, the Madison Maersk was about to board a pilot but with Marseille not departing the pilot comes back into the harbour. A pilot launch boards a pilot onto the Fenja at the Harwich Approach Buoy, with the wind gusting to 32 knots, the pilot orders one Svitzer tug to help her go starboard side to Trinity 3. After a little while the pilot radios Harwich VTS to say about the wind that it was very close to borderline of where two tugs would be required so she orders another tug. As anticipated, the wind grew stronger with 61.77 knots (71.08MPH) recorded on the Shotley guage. Svitzer Deben leaves the tug pontoon towards the Fort Buoy to make fast centre lead aft. Svitzer Sky wasn't too far behind and paddles towards the Fenja as she rounds the 90° Beach End turn at the entrance of the harbour. The crew tries to throw a heaving line down to the Sky through the centre lead forward but it fails so plan B, the sky moves onto the port shoulder to make fast which was successful. The wind still a strong Westerly, the pilot battles with the tugs to turn the Fenja to a Northerly heading then the tugs were used as brakes to gently slide the Fenja onto the fenders for a controlled landing.

Published on 10 Mar 2019


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