Providing marine support to construction

17 Jul , 2019  

Specialists in harbour, coastal and international towage, Atlantic Towage & Marine Ltd. provides unrivalled marine support solutions to the Irish construction industry. Building Ireland travelled to Bere Island in County Cork and met founder / proprietor Sean Harrington to find out more about the range of services offered.

Supplier of tugs, multicats, workboats, survey vessels, RIBS and safety boats, Atlantic Towage & Marine Ltd. specialises in coastal and harbour towage and has, over the past eleven years since its inception, established itself as the premier provider of marine support services to the Irish construction industry from Dublin Port to Cork to Donegal.

With generations of knowledge and experience, Atlantic Towage & Marine was founded by managing director Sean Harrington in 2008 and provides bespoke solutions in response to its customers’ marine needs, whatever the requirement – from routine towage to more complex marine solutions.

The entire crew are vastly experienced and highly skilled in the towage and salvage business, backed up by a professional onshore management team to ensure that customer needs are invariably catered for to the highest standards. On call 24/7, Atlantic Towage & Marine Ltd. is the most successful salvage contractor in Ireland, providing both salvage and casualty response as well as safe and efficient coastal and harbour towage.

Headquartered in Bere Island at the entrance to Bantry Bay, Atlantic Towage & Marine also have vessels strategically located around the coast. In order to deal with all client requirements, they continue to invest heavily in upgrading fleet equipment and training personnel.

One of the many areas in which the company has developed a reputation for excellence is the provision of marine support to construction, specifically providing tug boats for working off and moving barges in port areas. To this end, they have worked for most of the country’s main contractors and, at the time of writing, they were active on projects in both Dublin Port and Castletownbere with L&M Keating as well as another job in Ringaskiddy for ABCO Marine.

The following week, their largest ocean-going tug, the Ocean Challenger, crossed the Bay of Biscay towing a fishing vessel to Spain, while Sean was making arrangements to have two large tugs and a workboat in the oil terminal in Bantry Bay for berthing a large oil tanker.

Reflecting on the genesis of the business, Sean notes: “I worked on the ferries before setting up Atlantic Towage & Marine. My father, Colum, operates a ferry service to Bere Island and I worked with him for a number of years before deciding to start up my own company in 2008.

“I started out with a workboat and then added a tug boat. I gradually built the fleet up with more tugs and workboats and today we have twelve vessels in total, ranging from large ocean-going tugs to small safety boats. Our boats work all around Ireland, mainly in the oil terminals in Bantry Bay but also in Dublin Port, Donegal and across to the UK.”

Atlantic Towage & Marine undertakes numerous towage and salvage contracts around the Irish coastline as well as between Ireland and the UK. The range of services, which can be tailored to meet the customer’s precise needs, provided comprises Salvage & Wreck Removal; Seismic Support; Diving and ROV Surveys; Ship Berthing; Harbour, Coastal & International Towage; Marine Project Consultancy; Ploughing & Bed levelling; Oil Spill Response; Aids to Navigation Installation; Pilotage; Crew Transfer; and Vessel Hire.

Atlantic Towage & Marine can mobilise at a moment’s notice whatever the requirement, be it a disabled vessel drifting, a sinking yacht or a grounded ship. “We have a proven track record in salvage and, where a boat has sunken, is broken down and drifting or aground, we can cater for all these eventualities,” Sean continues. “We’ve also been involved in supporting marine construction for many years. For this, we tow barges around the various ports and also tow barges around Ireland from one port to another. Obviously, there are specialist skills required for this and we are proud to work for some of the leading construction contractors.

“We’re working on two projects for L&M Keating at the moment, one in Dublin Port towing large barge with cranes and machinery, etc., and another in Castletownbere. We also have vessels in Ringaskiddy on a dredging job for BAM through ABCO Marine and a number of boats at the oil terminal in Bantry Bay with Zenith Energy.”

At any given time, employment is generated for up to 20 personnel, although this depends on the workload. All crew are highly skilled and the work itself requires very specialist expertise. It’s flexible work and you never know what the next day is going to bring…

“For one particular job last year, we towed a decommissioned navy ship over to Holland,” Sean reveals. “Another was a Tall Ship that sank off the coast of Cork and we brought in a large barge with a crane from the UK to lift it up on behalf of the insurance company in conjunction with the coastguard. Another unusual job that we were involved in was transporting a Boeing 767 aircraft by sea on  barge from the River Shannon to Enniscrone via the west coast.”

Fully certified to the ISM (International Safety Management) system for the safe operation of boats, Atlantic Towage & Marine is now firmly established as Ireland’ premier coastal and harbour towage specialist. The construction industry is one of many to benefit from their dedicated expertise and all the indications suggest that the company will be keeping major coastal construction projects afloat for years to come.

Atlantic Towage & Marine Ltd.,

West End,

Bere Island,

County Cork.

Tel: 086 8595701

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.atlantictowage.com

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, March/April, Vol 5 No 3