Goodbye London and Rotterdam

by Hans | December 29th, 2012

And now the end is near and so we face the final curtain. We’ve sailed a life that’s full, we’ve traveled each and every ocean, and more, much more than this we did it our way.

We’ve been loved we’ve laughed and cried, we’ve had our fill, our share of losing. And now as tears subside we find it all so amusing to think we did all that, and may we say, not in a shy way, we did it our way”

There’s an end to most every song, and here’s an end to one that lasted for almost 38 years for two proud tugs under Dutch flag and many of their crews that sailed on them as from when they were commissioned back in 1975.

During our careers we have seen many ships we sailed on reach the end of their existence, either due to age or when the market’s demands turned them obsolete.

“Tribe follows tribe nation follows nation like the waves of the sea, it is the order of nature, and regret is useless”, a Native American leader spoke in mid 1800, and which is true in all respects, things change and come to an end to herald a new beginning as it’s the order of nature, and which over the years has been what it was for the crews that sailed the ocean going tugs for Smit and Svitzer Ocean Towage.

Many of the tug’s crews started their careers on the tugs at young age (age 16 in 1969 for undersigned) and remained faithful to the trade and the tug’s owners throughout.

The being faithful however rested in the tug’s crews toward the trade and the tug’s owners only it proved when gradually the demise of the ocean towage branch under the funnel logo of the owners became evident when more and more ships were written off and didn’t see replacement.

The final blow came when in 2007 the Dutch banner remained on the three remaining tugs but the ownership changed nationality.

The tug’s crews were offered continuation of their careers at the time and the new funnel logo conjured visions of great gain before them in ways of investments that would see the new logo become a market leader in the ocean towage industry.

However, deception in it all didn’t herald a new beginning but the end of an era instead when the continuation of careers beheld that the tug’s crews were made to denounce their prior years of service.

Soon the visions on great gain became the very opposite when instead of investments to continue into a previously pictured carefree future, investments in the end of it all became evident and by the end of 2012 saw two once proud tugs lose their pride and spirit in laid-up mode at Arroyo Barril, leaving their crews redundant with a claim on 6 years service out of a life long career only.

The end of year traditionally stands for reconciliation, reflection and consideration, concepts often chosen by heads of state to address the people at Christmas and New Year.

Sadly the definition of the concepts failed toward the tug’s crews, whom, after life time careers, are now left with a letter only that declares them redundant to say goodbye with to the tugs and their trade they had dedicated their selves to for years on end.

Wishing you all a good watch and safe sailing

Captain Gerrit Verschoor

Related Posts:

3 Responses to “Goodbye London and Rotterdam”

  1. Roy Martin says:


    My sympathies, but now you know what the crews from Overseas Towage and Salvage and Risdon Beazley felt like.

    Roy Martin

    ex MD Smit Singapore

  2. Harold Russell says:

    Maybe Greenpeace would love to have them as a GIFT.HGrussell

  3. If I had the money I would have bought at least one and kept it going with some dutch sailors, old ones like me. 63
    Very sad to see this coming to an end.
    Ex wtk wijsmuller tugs

Leave a Reply

Van Wijngaarden Marine Services B.V.
Bogazici Shipping
Sanmar Denizcilik A.?
Robert Allan Ltd
Transport & Offshore Services
Astilleros Armon
Damen Shipyard Group
Alphatron Marine
W.K.M. Cornelisse Trading B.V.
Sea Conquest Marine Surveys & Consultancy