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Rimorchiatori Riuniti takes over Augustea’s towage arm

Rimorchiatori Riuniti will take over Augustea Holding’s subsidiary Augustea Imprese Marittime e di Salvataggi in a deal worth some €75m ($85m). Following this agreement due to be finalised in the coming days, the Genoa-based shipping group led by the Delle Piane and Gavarone families will take control of a fleet of 16 tugs deployed in the Sicilian ports of Augusta, Catania and Pozzallo, plus four ocean going tugs. Augustea Imprese Marittime e di Salvataggi is also active in Venezuela with two tugs offering services to one of the country’s main coal terminals. With this deal the group chaired by Lucio Zagari and led by his son Raffaele Zagari as ceo will be able to focus on dry bulk and offshore maritime transport activities.

On the other hand Rimorchiatori Riuniti with this take over will consolidate its market position in the Italian harbour towage business operating now, alone or through joint ventures with other entities, in the ports of Genoa, Salerno, Ravenna, Ancona, Pescara, Termoli, Ortona, Vasto and Trieste with a fleet made up of 100 tugs. Rimorchiatori Riuniti and Augustea will remain both involved in offshore and deepsea towing services respectively with Finarge and Augustea Ship Management.

Raffaele Zagari commented on the deal saying: “The offer received from Rimorchiatori Riuniti group will make it possible for us to concentrate future development strategy to strengthen our market position in dry bulk and ocean going tugs where several opportunities are emerging due to the present crisis time”.

See the stomach-churning tugboat effort to take a Russian aircraft carrier under tow

Video footage has emerged of the incredible effort required by the Russian tugboat Nikolay Chiker in 2012 to rescue the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov when its trouble-prone engines broke down during heavy weather in the Bay off Biscay, off the coast of Spain and France.

Russia’s largest warship was returning from a diplomatic visit to strife-torn Syria: A sign of Russia’s support for President Assad which would be borne out by the deployment of combat jets there in September this year.


The ocean-going tugboat is seen bobbing like a cork as it manoeuvres in heavy waves alongside the powerless 43,000 tonne warship. One miscalculation — one surprise lurch — could result in catastrophe.

The entire effort was to fire a line — you can see the smoke trail — between the two ships.

This would, in turn, be used to haul a much heavier cable into place.

The tugboat would then gradually take up the tension, and drag the mammoth aircraft carrier all the way back to Russia for repairs.

Admiral Kuznetsov was spotted again last year passing through the English Channel after another visit to the Mediterranean.

source: News Ltd

Orkney tugs in major Shetland project

The three Orkney Towage tugs in Shetland.
© Ian Leask

Three Orkney-based tugs are in Shetland to assist with a major marine engineering project.

The Einar, Erlend and Harald, operated by Orkney Towage, steamed north from Orkney on Monday, arriving in Lerwick later the same day.

They are due to take part in a commercial charter, playing a key role in an operation involving a large steel oil storage tank.

This has arrived in Shetland onboard the heavy-transport vessel Xiang Yun Kou, which is now at Holmsgarth  in Lerwick.

Local engineering and logistics companies have been engaged to prepare the tank prior to it being taken for installation west of Shetland as part of Premier Oil’s development of the Solan field.

Later this week, the Xiang Yun Kou is due move to an anchorage in the port and ballast down for the tank to be floated off the deck of the vessel. The three Orkney tugs will assist with this complex part of the operation.

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