Wednesday 19th September 2012

Baltic Carrier berths and loads - RNLI save the day

Appledore RNLI inshore lifeboat came to the rescue when the Two Rivers 2 Pilot boat suffered a blocked engine cooling water intake yesterday as the BALTIC CARRIER was awaiting her Pilot at 0800 hrs. Rescue SPerham
Stephen Perham's pihoto of Molly Hunt towing Two Rivers2

The Pilot boat co incidentally manned by Clovelly lifeboat crew and ex crew was anchored safely near the inner Pulley buoy with an overheated engine, but with no means of delivering her Pilot to the ship and unable to return to harbour.

Martin Cox the full time coxswain and Swansea Coastguard came up trumps with a quick launch of the inshore lifeboat and also the all weather boat - both vessels near new. rESCUErhOAD
The Pilot has been expertly put aboard by RNLI's inshore boat

Time was of the essence as the ship was relatively deep draughted (4.1m) to enable her to pass safely under Bideford Bridge, and had arrived late on the tide from Plymouth. 

Amazingly the Inshore boat under the command of Geoff Pavitt and his crew picked the Pilot Roger Hoad off the disabled Pilot boat and swiftly out to meet the Baltic Carrier at sea which enabled the ship to berth safely.

Meanwhile the all weather boat kept a watchful eye on the boarding - which went smoothly - and the ship proceeded with all speed to Bideford, arriving on the berth with over half a metre to spare an hour and ten minutes after high water.

The all weather boat took the Two Rivers 2 under tow back to Bideford safely, accompanied by the inshore boat.

The ship was tied up by a stand by ropeman, and Andrew Short ILB crew. 

The blockage was subsequently removed from the Two Rivers 2 intake, and tested and checked by TDC Chief Fitter David.

The lifeboat crews under Martin Cox and Swansea Coastguard acted swiftly yet calmly and professionally thus avoiding a potentially dangerous situation as the ebb tide increased in rate with the danger that the Pilot boat dragged her anchor in the blustery conditions. Grateful Thanks are given to Swansea Coastguard and to all of the lifeboat crew by the writer.

BALTIC CARRIER sailed this evening with approx 2300 tonnes of logs aboard (Spruce mainly and some Pine ) She will transit the KIEL CANAL and be in WISMAR GERMANY in about 4 days.

Her Russian Captain, who spoke unusually good English - as did several of his crew, enjoyed his stay in the 'City' of Bideford. He was looking forward to seeing his wife and family two boys age 10 and 20 years the elder training to be a professional footballer after studies were finished he said in his home City of Novo...... Russia's second largest industrial city 400km from Moscow.

He had 500 tonnes of ballast in pressed up tanks, which gave him a righting lever of 65cms he said. The ship was stable (in contrast to her sisters visit previously) and we left the berth about 20mins before high water with an even keel draught of 4.8m. She had a deck cargo on her hatches forward. The Master said that the longer length of the logs from Bideford made for a safer deck cargo stowage since she has carried shorter logs from other ports which do not fit the deck stanchions.

Pilot boat crew throughout were Stephen Perham HM at Clovelly, fisherman and Clovelly ILB launching Authority and his partner Joy James ILB crew Clovelly, qualified Nurse, and trainee Doctor.

The JST crane is now back on the road, headed North. Euroforest's personnel after a long day's work are back in the office tomorrow as are Pike Ward the agents staff. The lorry drivers' are on for another early start tomorrow hauling logs out of the woods to ship and train log stores and to customers. The quay will be cleaned by TDC roadsweeper operatives first thing in the morning aided by Mike Pryer TDC crane driver.

RH's Photo of Baltic Carrier early this morning as she loaded logs.