Friday, 15 March 2019

Stricken French trawler La Fanette update

The towing of the 24 m trawler La Fanette is a long-term operation. The boat ended up in trouble Tuesday night, off Cornwall.

Vesseltarcker provides this AIS track of La Fanette under tow from the tug Penzer

The towing of the trawler La Fanette, a 24m from the Porcher armament, in the CĂ´tes-d'Armor, is a complicated operation, because of the difficult weather conditions at the moment.

The fishing vessel found itself in propeller damage Tuesday around 22 h. The hoisting of the six crewmen was a spectacular operation. Then, another trawler of the same armament, Farfadet, managed to catch one of the warps at the rear, and tow La Fanette in reverse. Rescue operations have been co-ordinated from the beginning by the Falmouth-Solent Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in close contact with the Cross Corsen.

VesselTracker traffic density filter shows just how busy the shipping lanes are in the approaches to the channel.

Busy shipping lane:

The situation was very uncomfortable: La Fanette, still towed from the rear, at a very low speed, in the middle of the Ouessant rail. We know that it is one of the busiest maritime areas in the world. The batteries of La Fanette began to weaken. Which meant soon more lights, and more AIS signal, to locate the ship. All this in the middle of container ships and freighters in single file ...

Yesterday afternoon, the Caiman Navy helicopter managed to drop a GPS tag on the trawler. Last night, the maritime prefect of the Atlantic asked the shipowner to take all measures to secure the convoy.

Acrobatic situation:

Brest tug Penzer was mobilised by the insurance of the shipowner, arrived on the area this Friday morning. Around 8:00, he managed, finally, to transfer someone on board, who could pass a trailer on the front of La Fanette. So far, the trawler was towed from behind. The situation has become a little less acrobatic, even if the weather is still not very lenient.

The trawler is being towed to Brest. His arrival time is not known at the moment.

This was yesterday's update from the French equivalent of the MCA.

On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 22:30, the Regional Operational Monitoring and Rescue Center (CROSS) of Corsen is alerted by the trawler La Fanette that his propeller is engaged to 10 Nq (18 km) in the North-West of the Cape of Cornwall (United Kingdom).

The trawler L'Estran is diverted to try to tow La Fanette . After an unsuccessful attempt, the trawler L'Estran is forced to return to port after engaging his own propeller.

The operation is coordinated by the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) supported by the center of Solent with very regular overnight exchanges between the ship La Fanette and CROSS Corsen. Given the deterioration in weather and the risk of the vessel sinking, the Falmouth MRCC decided to evacuate by helicopter the six trawler crew members. They are safely deposited in Newquay on March 13, 2019 at 06:30.

At 16:00, after being diverted, the trawler Farfadet arrives on the area to take the La Fanette in tow and drive to Saint-Brieuc, its base port.

On March 14, at 01:45, the tug TMS Kermor, mobilized by the shipowner, joined the disaster area to secure the towing. In the day of March 14, twice, the trailer breaks. Due to the deteriorated weather conditions in the area, it is not currently possible to transfer personnel to the La Fanette vessel to pass a trailer from the front.

The La Fanette is then located 37 nautical miles (approximately 68 km) northwest of Ouessant, near the entrance of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). Immediately, an urgent notice to mariners ( AVURNAV ) is issued by the Maritime Prefecture of the Atlantic to report the drift of the trawler.

At 16H07, the Caiman Navy helicopter is mobilized, at the request of CROSS Corsen, to drop a GPS beacon on La Fanette to prevent a possible extinction of its light signals and its AIS transmitter. The Farfadet and TMS Kermor vessels stay close to the La Fanette trawler .

At 8:10 pm, the maritime prefect of the Atlantic asked the shipowner to take all measures to secure the convoy before 15 March 2019 at 13:00. The tug of Brest Penzer, mobilized by the insurance of the owner, should be tomorrow morning on the area to tow the trawler La Fanette located 33 nautical miles (61 km) north of Ouessant.

Translated by Google.