Navy tug sinks in Simon's Town harbour

2018-11-10 19:05
A SA Navy decommissioned tug, De Mist, sank at the Simon’s Town Harbour. (Supplied)

A SA Navy decommissioned tug, De Mist, sank at the Simon’s Town Harbour. (Supplied)

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A SA Navy decommissioned tug, De Mist, sank at the Simon’s Town Harbour on Saturday morning. 

According to the Navy, the incident occurred at around 05:00 when officials were conducting rounds in the harbour and noticed that the tug was tilted to one side. 

Spokesperson Commander Greyling van den Berg said there was no one onboard as it was no longer operational. Van den Berg said the wind on Friday was blowing at 50km/h which also made it difficult to save the tug.

“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,” Van den Berg said. 

He added that the wind was blowing the tug onto its pneumatic fender. However, due to the weight on the fender, it burst and caused the tug to dip underwater. 

A pneumatic fender is a large inflatable rubber that prevents a vessel from bumping against the quay.

He said the SA Navy was currently conducting salvage operations to retrieve Tug De Mist. 

He said following the retrieval, a proper investigation would be conducted to establish circumstances that led to the incident and a detailed statement would be issued on completion of the investigation. 

“Tug De Mist was currently not operational and was up for disposal. She was 39 years old and was decommissioned two and half years ago,” he said. 

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


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