Dutch towage and salvage provider Multraship has won the tender to supply two Emergency Rescue & Towing Vessels (ERTVs) to the Netherlands Coast Guard for monitoring shipping safety in the southern section of the North Sea. The vessels involved are the Multraship Commander and Multraship Protector.

The contract for the deployment of the vessels came into effect on 1 July and will be for 4.5 years, with options for extensions. The Multraship Commander (formerly Alp Ace) will be stationed at the Borssele wind farm. As of 1 August, the Multraship Protector (formerly Alp Ippon) is on standby for the Hollandse Kust wind farms.

ERTV Guardian has been deployed by Multraship from its home port Den Helder monitoring the safety of shipping in the northern section of the North Sea since 2016.

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Borssele and Hollandse Kust

The operations of the two new ERTVs are also directed by the Coast Guard.

‘With the arrival of the emergency tugs, we have found a good way to limit the safety risks associated with these offshore wind farms for shipping in the years ahead,’ explains Nicole Kuipers, Director of the Netherlands Coast Guard. ‘In particular, the Borssele and Hollandse Kust wind farms are surrounded by shipping lanes and anchorage areas. This will be the primary focus of the deployment of these two extra ERTVs.’

The vessels can intervene 24/7 from strategic positions in the North Sea to provide assistance to drifting vessels and vessels in distress in order to prevent damage to the vessel and the wind farms and to take any victims on board. In addition to being used as tugs, the vessels can also be used in search and rescue operations.

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Multraship Protector in action on first day

The Multraship Protector was immediately deployed on its first day for a motor yacht in trouble. In the night of 31 July to 1 August, the crew of a motor yacht raised the alarm. The yacht was taking on water one kilometre off the coast of Westkapelle (Dutch province of Zeeland).

The Multraship Protector was first on the scene to provide assistance. The Multraship Protector crew kept in contact with the crew of the motor yacht until the rescue boat of Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) station Westkapelle arrived. The KNRM crew transferred pumps and the motor yacht was towed safely to port.

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