At 396-meters long and weighing in at a 250,000 tonnes, you’d think that having to do an emergency tow of the world’s largest containership would be no easy task. As it turns out, a recent exercise held March 9th off the coast of France proved that that doesn’t have to be the case.
The exercise was carried out using the French emergency towing vessel, the Abeille Bourbon, while the CMA CGM Marco Polo was on a four hour hiatus from regular service off the Brittany coast.
During the exercise, the Marco Polo was loaded to 80% capacity and towed for an hour at a speed of 10km/h.
The Abeille Bourbon which, at 80 meters long, was dwarfed by the massive containership. Hard to tell though, considering the 200t bollard pull Abeille was able to do the job using only half her engine power.
The Marco Polo is equipped with the Smith Bracket system fore and aft, allowing the Abeille Bourbon to get the tow line in place in just 15 minutes.
CMA CGM says the entire exercise went smoothly from the moment the Marco Polo stopped and started to drift, taking up the tow line and tensioning it, going upwind, and lastly the release and recovery of the line.
While we hope an emergency tow is not in the future of CMA CGM Marco Polo, as any avid gCaptain follower knows; ship happens.