Tugs Intercept Runaway Container Ship in Valencia
In the Port of Valencia, Spain on Tuesday, force generated by strong winds parted the stern lines of the Liberian-flagged container vessel HH Johanna from her berth and sent her drifting towards the adjacent, moored container ship Cosco Europe.
A bystander's photos show the 70,000 dwt Johanna drifting closer to the Europe and making contact at the bow. Harbor tugs are visible mobilizing to prevent the two from making further contact.
Four tugs from Boluda Maritime's Valencia base worked quickly to respond to the incident and brought the HH Johanna back to dock, preventing any significant damage. Two tugs worked for six hours each and two more for one hour to get the Johanna under control; winds estimated at 40 to 50 knots added to the time required to complete the evolution.
The 110,000 dwt Cosco Europe departed Valencia harbor; HH Johanna remained docked as of the afternoon of February 17.
The Port of Valencia's three competing terminal operators, with combined traffic of 4.6 million TEU, make Valencia the busiest container port in Spain and in the Mediterranean generally, the port authority says. The port saw a four percent increase in volume year over year for 2015; an import-export volume increase, at six percent, was the driver of this year's trade improvements, with double digit increases in traffic from Saudi Arabia and the United States. Bulk cargos were also up six percent and vehicle shipping was up 40 percent.