The most powerful tugboat on the Humber has been unveiled at a naming ceremony at Hull’s Albert Dock.

SMS Towage’s newly built £5.8m vessel Superman was christened at the ceremony today after being delivered from the Sanmar shipyard, near Istanbul.

SMS’s other Sanmar-built boats are the Statesman, Scotsman, Yorkshireman, Masterman, Englishman and Merchantman.

The boat will be one of the company’s most powerful, expanding its UK fleet to 15.

The Hessle-based firm, which is the UK’s largest independent tugboat operator, now has seven Sanmar-built tugs working on the Humber and other UK ports.

With twin Caterpillar engines, producing 4,200 Kw of power and generating 72 tonnes bollard pull, Superman will go into service on the south bank of the Humber to meet growing demand in the tanker and bulk carrier sector.

On the occasion of this important announcement SMS Towage Director, Gareth Escreet, said the acquisition was in line with the company’s invest and renew programme, enabling it to maintain a modern fleet, as well as reflecting the strength of the Humber economy.

“Today shows a significant investment we have made,” he said. “She is the most powerful tug in the river and really helps provide us with the necessary equipment for our work around Hull and Immingham.

“It’s a good statement for a smaller, independent towage company like ourselves to be making. We are proud to be a local, family run business and a lot of our business is still focused in the region.

He said: “We are only a relatively young company and have been able to progress and expand recently. The Humber ports have been busy and has allowed this investment to happen.

Chairman Paul Escreet said: “The previous Superman is now with new owners in Murmansk who were so impressed with her name that they asked if they could retain it.

“The new Superman is chunkier, giving extra room on board for the crew and she is very manoeuvrable. She is destined for Immingham and other south bank jetties.

The vessel was officially named by Amanda Pannett, wife of master mariner Phil Pannett, who spent 11 years with ABP Ports on the Humber.

Source: SMS Towage,
Photos: Neil Holmes.