Tuesday 20th Nov, 2018

Tugs to the rescue

FINE weather over the weekend helped ensure a smooth recovery operation of the cruise ship Norwegian Star.

In the early hours of Friday February 10, while cruising the waters off Cape Liptrap and Wilsons Promontory, the ship found itself without propulsion ability.

Tug company Svitzer Australia was called on to help and its tug boats Svitzer Hastings (based in Geelong) and the Tom Tough (Melbourne) sailed to the scene, arriving Friday evening.

Svitzer Australia regional general manager Andy Perry described the rescue operation.

“We were fortunate that it was a fine weekend. The big (challenge) was connecting to the (Norwegian Star) but even that was done relatively easily,” Mr Perry said.

“From our point of view it was good for the crew and the master to have the chance to do something slightly different because they are highly-professional people and want to put their skills to the test.”

The two tugs eventually got the Norwegian Star into the Port of Melbourne very early on Sunday morning, the tug Svitzer Marysville assisting in the final miles.

Mr Perry said disruption to the regular workload was minimal.

He noted cruise ships were different beasts to handle compared with many other vessel types.

“They are much higher from the water so they tend to be more affected by the wind where as bulkers and tankers sit lower in the water.”

Svitzer was also involved with securing a Spirit of Tasmania when it came loose from its mooring in Station Pier in January 2016.

“That’s why we are there – to make sure everyone is safe,” Mr Perry said.



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