Marine business invests in another vessel as it eyes further expansion

Hessle-based marine firm, SMS Towage, has acquired its latest vessel as the company continues its expansion into ports in  North East England.

It has bought the tug vessel LLOYDSMAN from Latvian towage firm PKL Flote.

The newest purchase takes SMS Towage’s total fleet to 20, which covers the ports of Belfast, South Wales, Portsmouth, the Humber and the North East ports, from Blyth to the River Tees.

Paul Escreet, chairman of SMS Towage, said: “Tugs play a vital role in helping vessels manoeuvre and berth safely at the ports and jetties at all UK ports.

“This further investment in our fleet means we can better serve our ever-growing customer base at these strategic ports, thereby strengthening the services we provide to our clients.

“There were numerous hurdles to overcome with the purchase of LLOYDSMAN.

“Ordinarily the vessel would need to enter dry dock to be surveyed before being accepted on the UK Flag.

“However, dry dock facilities were unavailable in Latvia, but following negotiations with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), it was agreed the survey could be undertaken when the tug arrived in the UK, which avoided time consuming and expensive delays.

“We continue to be delighted with the advice and help we receive from Andrew Jackson’s shipping and transport team.”

Rebecca Forder, a member of the solicitors firm’s shipping & transport team, led the legal team advising SMS on the acquisition.

Dominic Ward, senior partner and head of Andrew Jackson’s shipping & transport team, added: “Having worked with SMS Towage for over 20 years, we are particularly delighted to have been able to secure the vessel’s smooth transition into the UK, as the company continues with their successful fleet expansion and growth into the North East of England.”