Coastguard Tug `Anglian Monarch' takes Drifting Tug and Barge under Tow
4 Sep 2006 09:15 AM
The Dover based Coastguard tug `Anglian Monarch' has been in action
this afternoon after the tug `Cumbrae' towing an unmanned barge got
into difficulties off Ramsgate earlier today.
The crew of the vessel reported in to Dover Coastguard at just after
9.00 a.m. this morning that they had a problem with the tow, and that
an emergency tow wire had become lodged around the rudder under the
towing vessel. The vessel was drifting at the time and Master of the
vessel did not wish to use his propellers for fearing of fouling and
exacerbating the situation. The `Cumbrae' had 6 crew aboard. The
anchor had been dropped but this wasn't holding the vessel and she
was still drifting just outside the shipping lanes.
The Agency's Counter Pollution Unit was informed and the Coastguard
tug was sent to the scene. The `Anglian Monarch' arrived on scene at
about 2.15 this afternoon to evaluate the situation.
Details of the drifting vessel were incorporated into the routine
Channel Navigation Information Service broadcasts to alert other
vessels of the `Cumbrae's' predicament.
Upon arrival the Coastguard tug slowly circled the drifting tug and
tow to see what could be done and spotted what appeared to be black
rope around the Cumbrae's' rudder. The tug had earlier attempted a
reverse procedure to free herself but this had proved to be
Colin Mulvana, Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer from the Agency
"We had various conversations during the afternoon both with the
onshore contact for the tug and directly with the master as our
concern was that as the evening drew in we would potentially have
two `rogue' vessels drifting in what is the worlds busiest waterway.
"Despite their later efforts to free the tug from the rope around
their rudder they were unsuccessful, and at just after 4.00 p.m. the
`Anglian Monarch' took them under tow towards Dover and out of harms
way. We have kept Dover Port Control informed of these developments.
"As the `Anglian Monarch' began to make way the 'Cumbrae' was able to
restart its engines and is presently following the Coastguard tug
which is towing the barge, which has now two people aboard from the
"This incident reemphasises how essential these ocean going tugs are
to the strategy of protecting the UK's coastline in ensuring drifting
vessels or those not under command do not represent a threat to the
coastline, or other shipping, in the very busy waters around our