The piracy threat around the Gulf of Aden has been in the news for quite some time, and continues to make headlines with every next incident that occurs. Besides the dozens of pirate encounters, there are also many cases where ship owners and maritime service providers, or their officers and crew, do all they can to prevent hijackings. Preventive measures include alternative routes thousands of miles longer, just to stay clear from pirate activity, or careful planning and consultation to ensure escorts and other safety precautions. For ship delivery specialists Redwise of the Netherlands, staying safe has become a daily concern.
Going the extra mile, literally, is quite frequently the only option for Redwise. A serious challenge, when the delivery involves small craft only built for harbour or coastal services. In recent delivery contracts, as many as five newly built tugs had to go the thousands of extra miles along alternative routes. The 105 ft harbour tug RT Rob (photo) had to cross two oceans, on its 14,000-mile delivery voyage from Niigata, Japan –via Honolulu and the Panama Canal– to Bremerhaven, Germany.
Under the circumstances, Redwise –in close consultation with the owners to guarantee the safety of crew and craft– also opted for long alternative routes around Cape of Good Hope with a 78.7 ft tug from Haiphong, Vietnam en three 108.3 ft tugs from China, all destined for Europe.
For the delivery of the split hopper dredger Dravo Costa Blanca, from Huelva, Spain tot Fujairah, U.A.E. Redwise chose a different option. The voyage was carefully planned and prepared, to obtain an escort through the Gulf of Aden by Dutch navy frigate HMS De Zeven Provinciën (photo) participating in the NATO operation Allied Protector. A dredger, being relatively slow and with a low freeboard, is extremely vulnerable to pirate attacks. Thanks to Redwise' preparations, this split hopper dredger could be safely delivered to the Emirates.