Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Tug News Round Up

Several important events have taken place since last I posted.

1. LEKKO for the last time

Sadly the International Tug Enthusiasts Society has decided to wind up its affairs and discontinue publication of the respected journal LEKKO. Declining numbers of subscribers, coupled with overwork for the volunteer editors and contributors - none of us are getting any younger - resulted in this difficult decision. Whether a web site or blog or Facebook group will take over remains to be seen. LEKKO was always respected for its accuracy and professionalism - something alternatives have struggled with.

2. Groupe Océan goes west

Following the advice of Hoarce Greely to "Go West Young Man" the management of Groupe Océan has announced a major move westward. On the strength of a contract for tug services with Cargill Grain, Océan has taken delivery of two new Damen tugs, built in Vietnam, and transferred one tug from Jamaica.
Stationed in Vancouver harbour, the tugs will also try to pick up other work in the port.

Ocean Granville and Ocean Kitsilano are the new tugs, apparently Damen 2813 type, which were shown on this site October 23, 2019:

They are now joined by Ocean Stevns which had been working Jamaica until new tugs arrived there. It was re-registered in Canada February 25, having sailed from Kingston to Vancouver via the Panama Canal. It has been working in Jamaica since July 2018.

Ocean BC Towing Inc has been established to run the Vancouver operation.

At the same time Océan announced a major marine construction project in the port of Prince Rupert, BC. The work involves dredging and road building to connect various terminals in the port.

Recently the tug/worboats Ocean Nigiq and Blizzard Polaire were transported by truck from Quebec to BC. Groupe Océan has been active in Alberta with a number of small craft and scows working in the various ponds created by the oil industry, but this is the first work on the Pacific coast.

3. Atlantic Shuffle

Atlantic Towing Ltd moves its various tugs around to different ports as needed. When Saint John needs the large tugs because of large tanker arrivals, a tug from Halifax is sent over, and a smaller one one from Saint John comes back to cover. That is apparently what has happened recently as Spitfire III was sent to Saint John for a spell. Its place in Halifax was taken by Atlantic Cedar, a tug that is seldom seen in Halifax.

Atlantic Cedar outboard of Atlantic Oak at The Cove (former CCG base).
Both are rated at 5,000 bhp. 

Apparently a Saint John crew brought Spitfire III back to Halifax yesterday, and sailed for home this afternoon on Atlantic Cedar. The other tugs currently in Halifax are Atlamtic Willow, Atlantic Larch, Atlantic Fir and  Atlantic Oak. The latter tug is tied up ast The Cove, and is apparently undergoing some maintenance, since it does not appear to be working in the harbour.

Similarly ATL's offshore vessels move where needed, although most work in Newfoundland.

Currently Atlantic Osprey is working out of Halifax supporting the Noble Regina Allen.

I note fleet mate Atlantic Kestrel coming out of refit at Damen, Amsterdam.