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kinds of weather in both open waters and narrow port areas. Whereas technological solutions maximize the capabilities of the tugs and enable them to perform different tasks, it all boils down to the expertise of the people operating them. “You cannot just jump to it; it’s a hard craft to learn. It’s diffi cult to pinpoint what it is – it’s a skill you acquire and if it doesn’t come naturally to you, you will struggle. You have got to have a feel for it and an eye for it. And you need to get it in your blood, it grows on you and you end up being tug-happy.” TUG CAPTAIN This sense of craftsmanship is also shared by the response teams. SVITZER salvors operate world-wide under diverse and ever changing conditions. They stress that working with response requires not only solid technological knowledge but also practical know-how as well as a certain feel and mentality. “You need the right kind of spirit to do this job – to have an eye for it and the team spirit – and sometimes be a little bit like a horse, narrow-minded, so that you can focus on one problem at a time and continue, just forget about the rest for a while, because sometimes the circumstances are very harsh. But when you right or re-fl oat a ship it just gives you a kick and you forget all the bad things! It’s so much fun… and it keeps you young.” SALVOR Crews working on the ESVAGT emergency response/rescue vessels also work shifts of weeks at a time while on standby at offshore oil and gas installations. Crews were traditionally fi shermen used to the challenging waters of the North Sea. Crew changes take place at sea using a Fast Rescue Craft and the actual emergency response/rescue vessels are ideally only in port for surveys every 3-5 years. Changing at sea provides regular and real life practice of using the Fast Rescue Craft even in rough weather. A captain explains the procedure: “We coordinate the crew shifts with colleagues on board the crew change vessel, ESVAGT ALPHA, which brings us from shore to the site. The emergency vessel launches the Fast Rescue Craft and crew wearing protective suits shuttle between the vessels. It doesn’t take long and we do it in almost all kinds of weather. It is a good practice.” An ESVAGT Fast Rescue Craft in the North Sea. CAPTAIN OF AN ESVAGT EMERGENCY RESPONSE/RESCUE VESSEL 66 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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