Built in Hong Kong in 1980 as Salvageman it worked for United Towing of Hull, but was laid up in 1990 when Howard Smith Group took over United Towing.
It was then sold to the Spanish company Boluda, and renamed Hispania.
In 1996 Klyne Tugs purchased the tug for charter to the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency for use as a rescue tug, and renamed it Anglian Prince. Klynne tugs is now part of the Knight Towing group.
The British government has decided not to subsidize Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs) in a widely criticised decision earlier this year. The tugs, which are paid to stand by for emergencies in the English Channel and North Sea have figured in many dramatic rescues over the years. The German, Dutch and French governments continue to fund ETVs, but British waters will be left unprotected after September when the funding stops. The government will rely on "vessels of opportunity" (that is nearby commercial tugs) for ETV service, with costs to be paid for out of salvage claims.
In addition to its duties as an ETV it was also available for commercial hire. It was chartered by the Royal Navy to tow the Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutimi back to Scotland after its disastrous fire in October 2008.
Anglian Prince was sold just last month to Greek owners and was quickly refitted and renamed before setting on on this trip.
Herakles is a 11,280 bhp tug, with a 160 tonne bollard pull, and is by far the most powerful tug to be hired to tow retired lakers to the scrap yards in Turkey.
Follow the tug's progress on AIDS and see photos at: