New emergency towing vessel for Scotland

Peter Barker

The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has announced the awarding of a five-year contract to Ardent Maritime Netherlands BV to provide an ETV to cover Scottish waters.

The contract was awarded after an open market competition involving 22 bids and sees a return to ETV duties for the Italian-flagged and owned AHTS Ievoli Black, a vessel previously contracted to Ardent as ETV for the Netherlands Coastguard between 2010 and 2013. Ievoli Black took up its duties from 31 December 2016.

December MJ reported on the gathering of evidence by the UK government’s Transport Committee into the stranding and subsequent salvage of the semi-submersible rig Transocean Winner where provision of ETV services in Scottish waters was also discussed. MCA CE Sir Alan Massey stated a single ETV in the region was considered sufficient and local politicians and campaigners will perhaps be disappointed that provision of a second vessel is not included but will no doubt welcome the fact that the replacement for Herakles is more powerful and that, as hinted at by Sir Alan Massey, it is expected to take on more of a patrolling role.

Bids were evaluated based on: vessel type and dimension; age; bollard pull; speed; crew complement and experience; training and exercises; efficiency and the chargeable day rate. Ievoli Black was built in Poland in 2010 to a NED 8167L design and is a multipurpose vessel with capabilities including fire-fighting, MOB operations, stand-by duties, supply duties, anchor-handling, research ship and underwater activities. Built to RINA class it has fifi1 and DP2 capabilities. Main dimensions are: LOA 70m, breadth 15.5m and draught 5.1m with adequate endurance from a fuel oil capacity of 828m3.

Propulsion follows a conventional two engine, twin controllable-pitch propeller configuration, powered by two Wärtsilä 12V M26 main engines developing 7,440kW at 900rpm turning 3,400mm propellers in nozzles. Manoeuvring is enhanced with two bow and one stern tunnel thrusters. Ardent quote the bollard pull of Ievoli Black as 139t.

As is standard with such vessels, deck equipment provision is extensive, dominated by a Fukushima anchor-handling/towing winch with brake capacity 3,922kN, each drum having capacity for 1,500m of 72mm wire. FFS supply the fire-fighting installation, two centrifugal pumps supplying two 1,200m3/hr dual-flow monitors on the wheelhouse roof.

This article would be incomplete without mention of the previous ETV Herakles which perhaps now faces an uncertain future. Built in Hong Kong in 1980 as the Salvageman for United Towing of Hull it is a highly-regarded tug described as ‘Britain’s last traditional salvage tug’ by the previous writer of this column. As the Anglian Prince (and later Herakles) it has served as an ETV around the UK coastline for some years and its interesting and varied history includes a spell requisitioned to take part in the Falklands War in 1982.

Ievoli Black in its new UK Coastguard colours (Ardent)

Ievoli Black in its new UK Coastguard colours (Ardent)