Marine firm invests more than £19m

Leading marine firm, SMS Towage Limited has completed the purchase of numerous vessel worth in excess of £19 million, as it continues to expand its fleet across the UK.

The Hassle-Based business which was established in 1992 focused on ship management and rig moving services. Since then it has grown and now has a fleet of vessels located in Belfast, the Humber, Portsmouth and the Bristol Channel, offering harbour and offshore towage as well as support to the renewable energy sector or other specialist projects.

This latest investment has seen the business purchase a new tractor tug, the Roman, equipped with two Deutz main engines capable of developing 3,500 HP, together with the purchase of the Manxman and Marksman vessels from the Dutch builders Damen, bringing its current fleet size to 18 vessels.

Gareth Escreet, managing director of SMS Towage, said, “The arrival and purchase of the two Damen tugs provides a clear message to our very supportive client base of our desire to provide modern towage assets of the very latest design, capable of safely handling the larger vessels, which visit the ports where we operate. In recent times the “Manxman” has been utilised to berth large tankers and ore carriers on the Humber, whilst the Marksman has been used to assist the Royal Navy in berthing the aircraft carrier, Queen Elizabeth.”

SMS was advised by Andrew Jackson Solicitors on these purchases, with Escreet adding, “We continue to be delighted with the advice and help we receive from Andrew Jackson’s shipping and transport team. Rebecca (Hardy) helped us overcome a number of complicated hurdles relating to the purchase of our latest tug the Roman, including some very difficult negotiations with lawyers representing the previous owners. She also dealt quickly with the refinancing and subsequent purchases of the Manxman and Marksman, liaising promptly with the RSS in Cardiff, ensuring a smooth transition of ownership.”

Dominic Ward, senior partner and head of Andrew Jackson’s shipping and transport team, said, “Andrew Jackson has worked with SMS Towage for over 20 years, so it is particularly pleasing that we have been able to assist our long-standing client with the purchase of these latest additions to their growing fleet.”