GSF Grand Banks Back Under Control After Towline Snaps

Rob Almeida
Total Views: 12
December 6, 2013

Grand_Banks.197x196We received a tip from a gCaptain source that the semi-submersible drilling rig, GSF Grand Banks broke from her tow yesterday south of Newfoundland.

MarInt, a predictive maritime analytics system developed by Windward, shows that the GSF Grand Banks was taken under tow from the White Rose Field on 25 November and after anchoring for a few days, she began moving again on 2 December under tow by  the Atlantic Hawk.  After two days of sailing at a steady speed of 3-4 knots, on the 4th of December around 8:00-10:00 UTC both vessels stopped and the Grand Banks began drifting, while the Atlantic Hawk began operating around it, probably trying to restore the connection.

Based on its current speed, it is likely that the connection between the two vessels was restored early this morning, 6 December.  Both vessels are currently continuing their journey towards Pascagoula, Mississippi according to AIS data.

This situation is different from the Kulluk incident last year where the conical-shaped drilling unit broke from her tow in an Alaskan storm and soon found herself washed up on a beach.  In that case, the Kulluk did not have any installed propulsion and was completely at the mercy of the wind and current once the tow broke.  In the GSF Grand Banks’ case, she has two installed thrusters that were used to keep her from drifting uncontrollably.

Coincidentally, this isn’t the first time the Atlantic Hawk has made the digital pages of gCaptain this year.  In January, this vessel was involved in the tow of the “Ghost Ship” Lyubov Orlova.

According to gCaptain sources, after a few days the tow was transferred from the Atlantic Hawk to the Maersk Challenger.  After about 30 minutes, the tow line parted and the ship was left to her own devices once outside of Canadian waters and no longer posing a threat to the offshore oil and gas platforms in the area.

Track of the Atlantic Hawk
Track of the Atlantic Hawk
Track of the Atlantic Hawk, zoomed in
Track of the Atlantic Hawk, zoomed in
Track of the GSF Grand Banks
Track of the GSF Grand Banks

Are you directly involved in this tow? Feel free to email us at [email protected] with any updates. All names will be kept in confidence.  Or comment in the Forum.

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