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Ships and Harbours Photos

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On tow to the scrap heap!
Ships and Harbours
No: 613   Contributor: Michael Koppenol   Year: 1978
On tow to the scrap heap!

Here the Smit London is towing a 350.000 tanker from St.Croix (Caribbean) to Singapore.In the picture she is hauled in short as we are refueling mid-ocean from our own tanker! (See the fuel hose to the right of the towing cable.) This journey lasted 120 days and out of sight of land for all this period, as we had to stay well clear of the international sea lanes.
We almost lost here in the roaring forties during a force 11 gale.
During this gale she kept gyrating behind us and at one stage it appeared as if she was on her way to the Antarctic and then later on her way to the Persian Gulf. At one stage during this gale she sailed right past us which meant she was towing us! Mind you, we were doing a steady 5 knots or so. During a gale and a following sea you must be kind to your towing cable, keep things steady as she goes and low speed. Usually during heavy weather the object you're towing is brought in closer behing the ocean tug. (More cable is reeled in.)
From Singapore she was taken over by the Smit Rotterdam (I think) and from there towed to Japan. In Japan she was to be "disassembeld"
Sorry I can 't recall her name, even though I had three months to memorise her name!
Picture added on 10 December 2006
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