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ESVAGT Esbjerg Vagtskibsselskab A/S, better known as ESVAGT, was established in 1981 with the objective of offering emergency response/rescue services for the oil and gas industry in the North Sea. The presence of emergency response/rescue vessels had become a legal requirement for offshore drilling operations with the aim of preventing collisions and assisting in the event of a blow-out, man overboard, capsizing accidents or similar at platforms and rigs. The company’s fi rst two vessels, ESVAGT ALPHA and ESVAGT BRAVO, were converted fi shing trawlers and entered into operations in 1982. In 1983 ESVAGT joined with SVITZER, who had started similar operations a year earlier. This joint operation lasted until 1991 when the activities were merged and SVITZER took a 50% ownership. SVITZER shareholding was increased to 75% in 1998. ESVAGT differentiates itself by making crew changes at sea with the ESVAGT developed Fast Rescue Craft. Over the years ESVAGT’s fl eet has increased and today counts 25 vessels with another eight vessels on order. ESVAGT’s latest built vessels also offer supply, towing and anchor handling capabilities. Since its inception, ESVAGT has rescued a total of 114 persons at sea. WIJSMULLER N.V. Bureau Wijsmuller was established in 1906 by Johannes Franciscus Wijsmuller and initially provided ship delivery services. The business grew and in 1913 the company entered ocean towage. As these vessels were also suitable for salvage operations Wijsmuller moved into salvage in 1915. With the purchase of Amsterdam Tug & Salvage Co in 1918, at the time the oldest Dutch towage company incorporated in 1814, Wijsmuller added harbour towage to its ocean towage and salvage activities. Following diffi cult years after the death of Jan Wijsmuller in 1923, Bureau Wijsmuller was taken over by Goedkoop in 1936. Goedkoop also performed harbour towage in Amsterdam, but inside the locks. History was to repeat itself in 1948, when the sons of Jan Wijsmuller founded a ship delivery company under the name Rederij Gebr. Wijsmuller NV. In 1961 Bureau Wijsmuller was bought back by the Wijsmuller family and Goedkoop was acquired in 1979. In the 1970s and 1980s Wijsmuller was amongst the pioneers in developing the semi-submersible heavy-lift industry. These cyclical activities were eventually sold to Heerema and are today known as Dockwise. In 1991 an ocean towage joint venture was established with Smit. In 2000 Wijsmuller acquired Cory Towage, further cementing its position as a global towage and salvage operator. In addition, Wijsmuller had over the years emerged as the leading tug operator at LNG terminals world-wide. At the time of SVITZER’s acquisition in 2001 Wijsmuller’s operation counted some 140 vessels in more than 20 countries worldwide. 60 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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