Second new tug enters SA Navy service


The South African Navy has taken delivery of a second tug, Inyathi, from Damen Shipyards Cape Town, after receiving the first in July 2015.

Inyathi, meaning buffalo, was received by the South African Navy at naval base Simon’s Town on 4 February. It was escorted by the SA Navy’s existing six tugs, and welcomed into the naval fleet with a traditional sail past.

Inyathi is the second Damen ATD Tug 2909 in a two vessel replacement contract awarded to Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) in January 2014, under Project Canter. The first, named Imvubu – meaning hippo – was delivered to the SA Navy on 9 July 2015. They are replacing two existing harbour and coastal tugs, De Neys and De Mist, built in 1969 and 1978 respectively.

Damen said the two new tugs will be deployed for towing, mooring and fire-fighting operations for the South African Navy’s current and future fleet of vessels under all-weather, heavy sea, restricted visibility, day and night conditions within the confines of the Southern African ports and in coastal waters. Inyathi and Imvubu join two Damen Stan Tugs delivered in 2006 by DSCT, then known as Farocean Marine.
“We’re are very happy with the result of this project,” said the South African Navy’s Project Officer Commander Hermann van Geems. “Imvubu has certainly proven her worth over the last six months and we expect the same from her sister vessel. Damen has been excellent to work with throughout.”

The Damen tugs are equipped with rigid foundations, extra plate thickness, extra brackets and extra fendering. They were further outfitted with SA Navy equipment to ensure equipment duplication and maintenance saving. The azimuth tractor drive (ATD) tugs have a bollard pull of 43 tonnes, a length of 29 metres, a beam of 9.98 metres, a maximum speed of 13.2 knots and a propulsion system of two Caterpillar 3512C HD engines with a total power of 3,000 bkW at 1,600 rpm. They are also outfitted with Rolls Royce US 205 azimuth thrusters.

DSCT said it built the vessels with a South African workforce in keeping with governmental imperatives to create and maintain local job opportunities. “We are proud that the local content in the two Damen ATD Tug 2909 tugs amounts to over 50%,” says DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi. “The construction of these two vessels has also contributed to South African skills development and job creation through Damen Shipyards Cape Town’s apprenticeship programme.”