Svitzer on Thames


Whilst many of the small to medium-sized vessels using the middle Thames berths are able to manoeuvre into position using their own propulsion the larger cargo, cruise liner and military vessels often need some assistance to help them swing into position or to assist them in confined area operations such as in the West India or Royal Docks complexes.

Svitzer Tugs @ KGV Dock 15-09-13

This is where the Svitzer towage company comes in, based in Denmark but with operations all over the globe with a fleet of over 400 tugs, they have a permanent fleet on the Thames.

Svitzer Mercia @ Gallions Reach 11-04-09

Svitzer provide 24 hour port operations support to the Port of London Authority and various ship operators using a fleet of at least 6 tugs based at Gravesend and these can be seen supporting ship operations as far upriver as the Upper Pool at Tower Bridge.

Svitzer Tugs (4) @ Tower Bridge 04-08-14

The fleet of assigned vessels does change from time to time as some tugs are swapped out to other operating locations or older vessels are retired from the fleet.

Svitzer Anglia @ Gallions Reach 08-02-11

Svitzer Cecilia @ Gallions Reach 29-09-09

Svitzer have recently introduced two new vessels to the London contingent – namely Svitzer Eston & Svitzer London.

Svitzer Eston made her visit visit up river on 12th January 2015:

Svitzer Eston (1) @ Gallions Reach 12-01-15

Svitzer London hasn’t ventured up as far as Gallions Point as yet but I am sure it is only a matter of time until a bulk cargo ship going to Thames Refinery or a visiting warship needs a tow.

Updated 26/11/16

Since the article was originally published there have been a few changes to the locally based fleet of Svitzer tugs and these, along  with some other visitors, have been noted.

Svitzer Harty

Svitzer Harty (2) @ Gallions Reach 20-05-16

Svitzer Kent

Svitzer Kent (5) @ Gallions Reach 27-09-16

Svitzer London

Svitzer London @ Gallions Reach 24-08-16

Svitzer Warden

Svitzer Warden (5) @ Gallions Reach 26-05-16

For more pictures of Svitzer tugs on the Thames see here.

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2 thoughts on “Svitzer on Thames

  1. Pingback: Defender of the realm | Dock, Lock and River

  2. Pingback: HMCS Winnipeg transits the Royal Docks | Dock, Lock and River

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