Sunday, 16 September 2007


A closer view of the tugs attending USNS LARAMIE for her departure from Loch Striven. Above is the RMAS tug IMPULSE (A344), based in the Great Harbour at Greenock. She was built in 1993 by Richard Dunston at Hessel, on the Humber, specifically to handle the Trident class submarines based at Faslane. She is now operated by Serco Denholm under contract. 32.5 metres long, her two 8-cylinder Allen engines drive two Aquamaster propulsion units.

Also assisting LARAMIE were the RMAS tug NIMBLE (A222), one of two sisters based on the Clyde. Built in 1985 by Dunston, she is a Twin Unit Tractor Tug, driven by two Voith Schneider cycloidal propellers mounted side by side. She is 39 metres in length, and has Ruston main engines. The third tug on duty belonged to Svitzer and is also based at Greenock, and was filling in as one the other RMAS tugs is currently receiving attention at the Garvel Drydock. SVITZER MALLAIG, built in 2005 in Lithuania, is 30.3 metres long, and her Caterpiller main engines drive two Aquamaster azimuth propeller units.

Between the two tugs is one of the Royal Navy's Pilot boats making her way clear of LARAMIE after her pilot boarded the tanker.