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Fiji Sun


Tugboats To Boost Sea Operations

Tugboats To Boost Sea Operations
Three of Goundar Shipping Limited vessels berthed at Port Mua-i-Walu on February 12, 2018. Photos: Taraivini Seru
October 22
17:57 2014

Douglas Salvage and Towage Limited plays a crucial role in the bauxite mining operation in Bua.
One of its two tugboats, the Bellarine, usually operates in Galoa Bay, Bua to assist with the arrival of the ship that is used to transport bauxite to China.

Yesterday, both the Bellarine and the Broadsoune were docked at Port Mua-i-Walu in Suva. The Fiji Sun spoke to the captain of Bellarine, John Joy who said that when they are not at Galoa Bay, they are usually stationed at the Suva Harbour to provide assistance to whatever ship that needs it.
“We arrived into the country from Australia in January and we have been in operation in Bua, engaging with the bauxite operation since then,” Mr Joy said.
“Our job is usually to guide the mother ship arriving from China into the passage and we are always there to ensure the safe return of the vessel transporting bauxite back to China.

“The boat from China usually comes in every month and sometimes every one and half month. “That is the only time we are stationed there, otherwise we are here at the Suva Harbour.”

Tugboats usually maneuver vessels by pushing or towing them. They move vessels that either should not move themselves, such as ships in a crowded harbour or a narrow canal, or those that cannot move by themselves, such as barges, disabled ships, log rafts, or oil platforms.

Tugboats are powerful for their size and strongly built, and some are ocean-going. Some tugboats serve as icebreakers or salvage boats. Early tugboats had steam engines, but today most have diesel engines. Many tugboats have firefighting monitors, allowing them to assist in firefighting, especially in harbours.

According to Mr Joy, both their tugboats have bigger horsepower compared to other tugboats in the country.

“Our second tugboat, the Broadsoune has the best fire monitors. It is of international standard,” he said.

Mr Joy, who worked as a captain for the Blue Lagoon Cruises before joining Douglas Salvage and Towage, said there is a big difference at the way he conducted his work before compared to now.

“Before we deal mostly with passengers but as for now, the timing is important. It has to be right to avoid any disorder,” he added.
Mr Joy went to Australia to bring the tugboat home and had a brief stopover in the Solomon Islands.

Salvage operations

Douglas Salvage and Towage Limited (DSTL) had agreed to work with two international companies to facilitate salvage operations in the region.

The company had discussions with Titan Salvage representatives in Australia and SVITZER Salvage management and they had agreed to facilitate any future salvage operation in the South Pacific and Coral Sea, utilising tugboats based in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. The company had four tugboats- two in Fiji and two are based in the Solomon Islands.


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