Two Maersk Supply Vessels Sink En Route to Scrapyard


#1

More grist for the mill, which of late has been grinding WSF ferries and idiot boaters exceedingly fine:

From Maritime Executive:
“Maersk Group’s offshore vessel division said on Thursday that two of its anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels sank off of Ile de Sein as they were being towed to a scrapyard. The firm said that the decommissioned vessels, the Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper, were unmanned at the time of the incident. Both were under tow by the AHTS Maersk Battler.Ouest-France reported winds at Force 3 and large swells of 8-12 feet at the time of the sinkings; the French outlet indicated that the Searcher went down first, followed by the Shipper later in the day.”

“Both ships had been emptied of fuel and lubricants in preparation for scrapping, said Claus Bachmann, chief operating officer of Maersk Supply Service, in a statement Thursday.
No injuries were reported, and as of Thursday afternoon, the Battler’s AIS signal showed her under way off of Brest.”

“Maersk Supply Service has sold ten offshore vessels for scrap or conversion so far this year, and it says that it plans to reduce its fleet by up to 20 ships by early 2018. The division expects that buyers will recycle the vessels or use them outside of the offshore market, thereby reducing the supply of competing tonnage.”


#2

Now the multi million dollar question was the insured value more than the scrap value?


#3

Interesting question. Last year our company had an old boat 220’ LOA x 34’beam towed from Seattle to Mexico to be scrapped. WE had to PAY the scrapyard to take her! Different year, different market, different part of the world, different type of boat, etc. Only insurance we carried on her was pollution coverage.


#4

[QUOTE=freighterman;193736]More grist for the mill, which of late has been grinding WSF ferries and idiot boaters exceedingly fine:[/QUOTE]

I think that should be “WSF ferries and [B]other[/B] idiot boaters.”

It does seem a bit peculiar that so many vessels under tow to the breakers never make it and most of them seem to sink in deep water.


#5

Is it known if Maersk owned them at the time of sinking or were they sold prior to that?


#6

General practice is to re flag and transfer the vessel to a shell corporation for transit to the breakers. She’s likely to be dropped by the P&I club when out of service, needs a new framework to cover problems of any sort.

Much scrapping as Maersk is doing and how they usually handle things any shell ownership may be Maersk subsidiary who knows ?

Boats3


#7

I cannot find anything about whether these two vessel were already offhanded from Maersk to a cash buyer, as is normal, or if they were sold with delivery to the breaker’s yard in Turkey at Seller’s risk and account, which is also possible.

Both of the towed vessel were built at Singmarine in 1999 as part of a series of four: www.maersksupplyservice.com/Documents/S-Type.pdf
(I attended the bollard pull test for two of the four when new)

What is also not known is if the towing vessel Maersk Battler was also due to be scrapped. This one was built at Simek, Norway in 1997: http://www.simek.no/index.php/ships/ahts/12-ships/ahts/132-093-maersk-battler
At least one of her sister ships have already been sold by Maersk to Turkish buyers: http://www.offshoreenergytoday.com/maersk-supply-service-sheds-two-more-offshore-vessels/
6 previously sold Maersk vessel were all PSVs for conversion to floating power stations.

BTW: The two vessels were towed moored side by side, not on two separate towlines, or in line.


#8

I’m looking forward to hearing a more detailed account of why they sank other than “water ingress” as one report stated.


#9

Built in 1999 and already being scrapped?!?!?!?

Those would be brand new boats where I work.


#10

Maersk Battler is continuing her voyage to Gibraltar: https://www.marinetraffic.com/rs/ais/details/ships/219276000

It will be interesting to see if she also continue to Turkey after bunkering.


#11

On a ship scraping site it listed all 3 being sold for scrap.


#12

[QUOTE=ombugge;193781]

BTW: The two vessels were towed moored side by side, not on two separate towlines, or in line.[/QUOTE]

I have NEVER before heard of two vessels being towed in the open sea while moored alongside each other. No wonder they sunk. Why wouldn’t they? If true, I would consider this an intentional disposal at sea, not a tow to a ship breaker.


#13

[QUOTE=tugsailor;193804]I have NEVER before heard of two vessels being towed in the open sea while moored alongside each other. No wonder they sunk. Why wouldn’t they? If true, I would consider this an intentional disposal at sea, not a tow to a ship breaker.[/QUOTE]

Maybe this towmaster was out there trying to perfect the technique…

http://gcaptain.com/tandem-town-goes-south-in-us-gulf-of-mexico/


#14

Well now we know where the old deck officers from the Aviq are working.


#15

One reason for re flagging . Not many reputable class surveyors would pass that tow. Thing is I can’t see the reason for side by side. Must use more fuel.

Boats3


#16

[QUOTE=Steamer;193740]I think that should be “WSF ferries and [B]other[/B] idiot boaters.”

It does seem a bit peculiar that so many vessels under tow to the breakers never make it and most of them seem to sink in deep water.[/QUOTE]

Or on a beach in the Canary Islands. . .

      • Updated - - -

[QUOTE=Boats3;193809]One reason for re flagging . Not many reputable class surveyors would pass that tow. Thing is I can’t see the reason for side by side. Must use more fuel.

Boats3[/QUOTE]

Class Surveyors don’t get involved in Trip in Tow surveys. That said, I would be interested in seeing the Trip in Tow survey that WAS performed. . .


#17

[QUOTE=Boats3;193809]I can’t see the reason for side by side. [/QUOTE]

Do we know for certain that the tow was “side by side” and the few photos that show them that way were not taken while maneuvering out of confined waters before going tandem?


#18

[QUOTE=Steamer;193820]Do we know for certain that the tow was “side by side” and the few photos that show them that way were not taken while maneuvering out of confined waters before going tandem?[/QUOTE]

You have a point. I have only seen one picture of this towage, (in Maasmond Maritime - Shipping News Clippings #359 - 24.Dec.2016) which shows all three vessels while passing off the Dutch coast. In that picture the two towed vessels are side by side, but on a short towline. (Sorry, not able to copy or link to the picture)

The Battler has a triple drum Brattvaag winch with two towing drums side by side and would normally deploy both wires, one for each towed vessel in tandem tow.

      • Updated - - -

[QUOTE=cmakin;193816]
Class Surveyors don’t get involved in Trip in Tow surveys. That said, I would be interested in seeing the Trip in Tow survey that WAS performed. . .[/QUOTE]

You are right, with the exception that Noble Denton is now owned of DNV-GL, but not technically part of the Class Society. (Similar to ABS Marine Services)


#19

The tug ‘Maersk Battler’ is now underway from Gibraltar to Aliaga, the Turkish port and ship breaking yard.


#20

???
The couple times we did this on a very small scale it quickly became apparent it could only be done on millpond-flat water without damaging the towed vessels. When they get out of synch rolling or pitching the strain on the lines connecting them and the deck fittings was immense.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;193804]I have NEVER before heard of two vessels being towed in the open sea while moored alongside each other. No wonder they sunk. Why wouldn’t they? If true, I would consider this an intentional disposal at sea, not a tow to a ship breaker.[/QUOTE]