Grounding Averted in English Channel
[Brief] On Thursday afternoon, the rescue tug Abeille Bourbon helped avert a grounding near the Portsall Rocks, a cluster of shoals off the northwestern tip of Brittany.
At 1114 hours Thursday, the Dutch freighter EEMS Traveler reported a propulsion failure to the French regional search and rescue center (CROSS) at Corsen, Finistère. She was drifting towards shore about 15 nm off Portsall Rocks, an area best known as the site of the grounding of the tanker Amoco Cadiz in 1978.
The crew of the Traveler continued their efforts to repair their main propulsion, and the rescue center dispatched the Abeille Bourbon from the port of Camaret to prepare for a response effort. At 1250 hours, as the Traveler's crew were still not able to make repairs, the shipowner contracted with Bourbon subsidiary Les Abeilles (Abeilles International) for a rescue tow into Brest. The Abeille Bourbon took the Traveler in tow at 1542 hours and brought her back to port for repairs.
Les Abeilles has been involved in protecting the French coastline from marine casualties since 1976, and it has participated in 850 interventions over the years. Its missions include many “preventive” tows intended to avert harm, like the rescue tow for the Traveler, as well as post-accident response.