Tug De Mist sinks at harbour

2018-11-20 06:01
Tug De Mist before she sank.

Tug De Mist before she sank.

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The SA Navy decommissioned tug, De Mist, sank in the Still Water Basin in Simon’s Town Harbour on Saturday 10 November.

The Navy decided to attempt to salvage Tug De Mist, making use of internal resources, but all proved fruitless.

At first light, at about 05:00 in the morning, it was noticed that the tug had a slight list (tilted to one side). There was no-one on board the vessel, as it is no longer operational. The list was noticed by other Navy members conducting rounds in the harbour.

Corporate communications officer, Naval Base Simon’s Town Commander Cara Pratten, says that during the night of Friday 9 November the wind was blowing at about 30 knots (50km/h).

“The SA Navy divers were called in and they arrived with equipment within the hour. Although they valiantly attempted to save the tug, the wind and sea conditions made it very difficult. The wind was blowing the tug onto its pneumatic fender (large inflatable rubber bumper that prevents a vessel bumping against the quay). However, due to the weight on the fender it burst, causing the tug’s gunwale (raised side of the vessel) to dip underwater. Once this happened the tug sank within minutes. Tug De Mist was currently not operational and was up for disposal. She was 39 years old and was decommissioned two and a half years ago.”

Pratten says the last time Tug De Mist sailed was in June 2015 for the arrival of Tug Imvubu, one of the tugs that replaced her.

“The SA Navy is currently conducting salvage operations to retrieve Tug De Mist so that a proper investigation can be conducted to establish the circumstances that led to the incident, and a detailed statement will be issued on completion of the investigation,” says Pratten.

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