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Tug Malta ventures in Libya

Date: 13/03/2013

Two Tug Malta vessels have turned their sails towards Libya as part of the company’s efforts to extend its remit of offshore towage services in the central Mediterranean and North Africa.

Tugboat Spinola was engaged in a successful re-floating operation of a vessel that had ran aground in Tripoli harbour while MT St Elmo responded to a call from reputable client to be at Al Khoms in Libya to tow a vessel which found itself fraught with technical problems.

Tug Malta said in a statement it assisted SMIT Salvage of Rotterdam to successfully refloat the bulk carrier Tasman Sea which ran aground at Tripoli Harbour on January 27. The vessel was laden with grain.

No injuries, pollution or damage to the cargo was reported. Attempts by the port authorities to refloat the vessel were futile. The owners of Tasman Sea have appointed professional salvors, SMIT Salvage who fixed tug Spinola to transport the latter’s equipment and crew; and to tow and provide general assistance.

To discharge part of the cargo and enable lightering SMIT Salvage also fixed vessel Sisu Castor which arrived in Tripoli from Alexandria on February 6.

The lightering of about 2,900 tonnes of grain cargo took about two days and the Tasman Sea was subsequently refloated free on Sunday.

SMIT Salvage was responsible for the lightering and salvage plan always with the support of tug Spinola and the full cooperation and liaison of the port authorities and local agents.

Responding to a request for a prompt towage service from Malta Motorways of the Seas - a company belonging to Grimaldi Group of Companies, tug St Elmo is at Al Khoms anchorage area.

Tug St Elmo will be towing the Ro Ro Cargo Vessel Setubal Express to Malta for repairs after encountering some technical problems.

The voyage is expected to start as soon as the towage survey is completed. Tugboat St Elmo and ‘Setubal Express’ are expected back in Malta in the coming days.

These jobs added to the company’s experience in the off-shore towage business segment and above all manifested the great deal of cooperation that was observed primarily with the Libyan Port Authorities, the Salvage team, the ship owners and agents and other stakeholders.

Source: Times of Malta

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