The tug VB Hispania made a crossing from Flushing (Netherlands) to Villagarcía (Spain) and was met with harsh wind and sea conditions and a force 9 storm, forcing the vessel to endure large waves, surf and diminished visibility. The Bay of Biscay is considered an area that is especially susceptible to bad weather and one in which ships suffer most from its effects.

The VB Hispania is a seafaring tug with 8.46 HP and 103 BP of power, an LOA of 46.80 m., a beam of 13.80 m. and a draft of 7.00 m. strut. It was not involved in towage operations at the time, having recently undergone servicing in Vlissingen (Flushing). “The weather at this time of year is usually like this in this area, albeit with less force”, said Captain Chaviano. “The measures that were taken before putting to sea, such those related to watertightness and the assessment of the stability and buoyancy criteria, were tested to the full during this crossing and the ship demonstrated its seaworthiness”, he said.
The human and professional quality of the vessel’s crew has led them to minimize the merit of their skills and to rest importance from the complicated situations they encountered: “the crew has experience in these conditions and in all areas of navigation. The decisions taken, always following consultation, and the resources and assistance available at all times meant in the end that this was just another crossing”.
Asked about their daily activities, the Captain acknowledged that in such testing sailing conditions the on-board duties become dangerous, as opposed to difficult, above all such manoeuvres as towage at sea. “Everything becomes very difficult: covering shifts, resting, or even eating, as we have to hold onto our plates.
In the most difficult situations, we only prepare cold meals, as cooking becomes impossible, everything has to be immobilized, otherwise it all ends up on the floor. Remaining in one place is impossible; to do so you have to be anchored in order to avoid falling and hurting yourself”.

Thank you: Captain, José M. Chaviano; Adrián Martinez, 1st Officer; Daniel Columbie, 2nd Officer; Juan Molinet, Chief Engineer; Pedro E. Villanueva, 1st Engineer; Carlos A. Santos, 2nd Engineer; Daniel Rodríaguez, Electrician, Ramón Garcia, Boatswain; Ramon Garcia, Boatswain; Rodolfo Álvarez, Able seaman; Rolando Cárdenas, Able seaman; Ovidio Quesada, Oiler; Arnaldo B. Peña, Cook; Raymel Lárazo Marin, Junior Engineer and Antonio Martin.


Our full appreciation and admiration goes out to our colleagues working at sea.