Photos: Salvage Tug Goes Aground off Luzon

All images and video courtesy Task Force Lingko Cagayan

By MarEx 2016-12-07 18:37:58

On November 28, the oceangoing tug Salvage Titan went aground off the northern tip of the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

The vessel was towing a barge loaded with ship-to-shore container cranes.

Initial media reports suggest that strong currents and foul weather drove the tug onto the shore. At the time of the incident, Tropical Storm Marce was passing to the west of Luzon; Philippine agencies had forecast "moderate to strong winds" over Luzon and "moderate to rough" seas. 

The response agency Task Force Lingko Cagayan said in a statement that the grounding was due to an unspecified "sea vessel accident."

The crew were rescued swiftly by first responders. "Capt. Christopher D. Gebelaguin and fourteen (14) of the transport's crew were rescued upon sight," the agency said.

Despite her name, the tug Salvage Titan has no relation to the well-known firm Titan Salvage, which merged into another company last year.

The Salvage Titan is one of two large tugs owned and operated by a Taiwanese tow and salvage firm. She began life in 1977 as the Smit New York, was transferred to Xin Hua Shipping and renamed the Hua An in 2000, and has operated under her current name and ownership since 2014. 

According to her Equasis record, she was detained in 2012 for nearly one month for deficiencies related to SOLAS equipment and structural conditions, including corroded, holed decks. 

As of December 7, AIS data showed the Salvage Titan under way once more, making eight knots and bound for Port Klang.