Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ultra Large Container Vessel Shows Manoeuvrability in Towing Exercise

Giant French Cargo Carrier Examined by Maritime Emergency Group
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – As the world’s container shipping lines build ever larger vessels, so comes the problems of manoeuvring these behemoths whether they are on the high seas or in a restricted anchorage. Now CMA CGM and the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME) have tested the Command's capability to tow this new wave of ultra-large cargo ships that currently ply the world's trade lanes, during an exercise held earlier this month. Using CMA CGM's 16,000 TEU container ship the CMA CGM Jules Verne, and the CCME’s multi-purpose vessels, the Neuwark, the Mullen, and the Nordic the operation was hailed a success by all the parties involved, with Wolfgang Knopf, On-Scene Coordinator, saying:

“The collaboration between the crew of CMA CGM Jules Verne and our operative forces was excellent. The advantages of the Emergency Towing system on board CMA CGM Jules Verne, which is not yet compulsory for large container vessels, nevertheless providing enormous benefits for the towing operation in terms of safety and strength.”

The CMA CGM’s flagship was ordered to undertake various tasks during the exercise including altering its geographical position, taking over the role of a ‘vessel in distress’ in an emergency towing situation and allowing and assisting representatives of the CCME to board.

The task of CCMEs operation forces, on the other hand, was to board the ship via helicopter; to evaluate the situation with the master of the CMA CGM Jules Verne; to train for efficient communications between the on-scene-coordinator, the boarding team, the emergency towing vessels and the CMA CGM Jules Verne; to assemble towing connections and to tow the giant vessel on different courses.

This exercise was intended as a learning experience and was undertaken in the Deep Water Road off Heligoland, a small German archipelago in the North Sea, to enhance preparedness for emergency towing operations and succeeded in demonstrating both the CCMEs, and CMA CGMs, responsible attitude toward safety and environment.