Stricken ship berthed in Bermuda after major operation on Christmas Day
A Christmas Day rescue mission was launched by Marine and Ports staff after a freighter lost power hundreds of miles off Bermuda.
Two Department of Marine and Ports Services tug boats were sent to help the 18,321-tonne Suomigracht and helped it dock safely after it was taken under tow on the high seas by the Resolve Commander, a tug from Nassau in the Bahamas.
The duty officer at the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre said: “The local tugs were deployed to ensure the ship consistently followed the safety of the channel area.
“It is a long and slow operation and takes a lot of skill to do.
“It went very well. It is a ticklish thing to do, dealing with a ship with no propulsion, but it was trouble free and was conducted smoothly and professionally.”
The Suomigracht, was on its way from Eemshaven in the Netherlands to Jacksonville, Florida for repairs, but lost power to its main engine about 500 miles off the island.
The tug picked up the ship and headed to Bermuda and marine and ports pilots boarded the Suomigracht at 7.25am and helped it to navigate through the Narrow Channel and North Channel.
The disabled ship was berthed at King’s Wharf in Dockyard at about 1.40pm.
The spokesman for maritime operations said the Suomigracht was being repaired and the Resolve Commander was taking on more fuel.
An attempt to bring the ship in at lunchtime on Christmas Eve was postponed on safety grounds.
The two tugs, believed to be the old tug Faithful and the new tug Powerful helped bring the ship in.
The island vessels guided the ship from the stern and the middle as the Resolve Commander towed it in to harbour.
The duty officer could not confirm how many Bermudian crew members were involved in the operation.
There were 18 crew members on the Suomigracht and eight on the Resolve Commander.
A pilot from Bermuda was on board both the ships while the ships were brought in to port.
Joe Simas, of shipping agent Meyer Agency, said if repairs went to plan, the Suomigracht could sail as early as tomorrow for Jacksonville.
The 608-feet Suomigracht, based in Amsterdam, was built in 2004 and is registered in the Netherlands.