After a smooth helicopter hosting operation I boarded the inbound LOCH RANNOCH, a 270 m long Shuttle tanker, with destination MOT berth 1, in petroleum harbour 8. The conditions were rough at sea, with a wave height of over 3 meters and a big swell due to the NW’ly winds. Due to the expected high winds and the nature of the berth, I brought our precision navigation equipment with me, which would proof very useful during the voyage.
Two tugs, the VB PANTHER and SVITZER MALLAIG joined us inside the breakwaters, the MALLAIG securing a rope on the SB shoulder of the LOCH RANNOCH.
During the approach to the berth, winds started to pick up dramatically, with gusts up to 25 m/sec. (BF9). With the resources at hand, two tugs with a total BP of 170 tonnes, two thrusters, and a very professional team of ship’s crew, tugs masters , linesmen and loading master, we were able to complete this operation in a controlled manner. Needless to say, without the precision navigation equipment we use, this would not have been possible.
As soon a the ship was alongside and in position , the winds became even worse, with peaks reaching 10 beaufort. In these conditions the Rotterdam Boatmen proved their skills in safely attaching the steel mooring wires to the designated dolphins, resulting in a safe mooring for the LOCH RANNOCH.
A huge compliment to all parties concerned who made this exceptional team effort possible!