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venture in 1928 and 1932. However, SVITZER refused to give up its position in the Mediterranean – keeping active in the territory already established in the previous decades was a greater priority than making a profi t here and now. Only one vessel was lost during the war. The salvage vessel DANMARK stationed in Constantinople was confi scated by the Turkish government in 1915. The vessel was never returned to SVITZER but later used to compete against its former owner. EXPANSION IN TOWAGE SVITZER’s entry into towage originated in the 1870s, when it acquired a stake in the towage company Det Forenede Bugserselskab. At the time this was largely a defensive move to protect its salvage business. SVITZER’s next move into towage was likewise to be motivated in defence of its salvage activities. In 1923 Det Forenede Bugserselskab acquired tugs and salvage equipment, which had belonged to its competitor Union, and tried to sell it on to SVITZER. SVITZER considered the price too high and did not need more equipment at a time of weak market conditions. Having acquired the equipment Det Forenede Bugserselskab then decided to compete in salvage operations, often on lump sum terms, instead of invoking the usual Lloyd’s Open Form contract. SVITZER met this move the following year by buying four tug boats and competing in towage. A classical tug war resulted, which lasted four years and had an immense effect on the economy of both companies. In 1927 the struggle ended with the two companies resuming focus on their historic specialities – SVITZER on salvage and Det Forenede Bugserselskab on harbour towage. SVITZER, however remained a shareholder in Det Forenede Bugserselskab and included its four tugs in the operation of the venture. The 1920s saw a range of other competitive struggles, among them one with the German company Bugsier. Bugsier had bought SVITZER’s partner Nordischer Bergungs Verein and dissolved the agreements of cooperation. In 1925 SVITZER decided to pre-empt competition by building the tug GARM and stationing it in Frederikshavn. Once again competition was met head on. New Year card from 1918 showing PEKING OF GOTHENBURG which, loaded with copra, caught fi re and capsized in Port Said in April 1917. In September the vessel was salvaged by PROTECTOR, which served SVITZER for 55 years and the coalition during both World Wars. After delivery in 1905 she was stationed in Hong Kong and from 1911 in the Red Sea. During her long and active life she only returned to European waters four times. 40 S V I T Z E R – S A F E T Y A N D S U P P O R T AT S E A


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