40 years service for FAIRPLAY TOWAGE – Hamburg tugowner sells deepsea-tug „FAIRPLAY IX“

by Hans | January 27th, 2011

The Hamburg based company, FAIRPLAY TOWAGE has sold its deepsea-tug “FAIRPLAY IX”.

Fairplay has the custom of re-using their ships’ names. In Fairplay’s 105 year long history, certain names have been allocated up to five times. The story of the “FAIRPLAY IX”, which has just been sold to Greece, is slightly different. It is only the second tug that has sailed under her name.

The first “Fairplay IX” was a harbour tug. She was built in 1910 by a local Hamburg shipyard, specifically for harbour assistances in the Port of Hamburg. In the very early days of WW1 (1914), the tug was confiscated by the “Kaiserliche Marine” (the German Navy) who used her for several purposes, one of which was minesweeping off the Port  of Cuxhaven. In 1919 the vessel was returned to Fairplay. But before long, at the start of WW2 (1939), the German Navy confiscated her once more, and again, she was stationed off Cuxhaven. In 1945 the Navy returned the ship to its rightful owners. In 1966, at the fine age of 56, the first “FAIRPLAY IX” was finally scrapped in Lübeck.

Today’s “FAIRPLAY IX” can “only” look back at a lifespan of 40 years under the Fairplay star. Together with her predecessor namesake, however, this swiftly adds up to already 96 years of Fairplay history.

Built in 1970 at Schichau Werft in Bremerhaven as Yard-No. 1751 she sailed hundreds of thousands of sea miles for Fairplay Towage.

With 57 tons bollard pull and two very cost-efficient MaK-Diesel engines, the tug was predominantly used for long distance towage. Her large bunker capacities enabled the tug to tow for 90 days without stopping. The economic advantages and the great reliability of her ‘Made in Germany’-stamp, made this tug a favourite with both her clients and her owners. Her utilization was exceptional.

Next to long towage trips, “FAIRPLAY IX” led an extremely adventurous life. The most remarkable incident she experienced was the hijacking of ‘tug and tow’ in 1988. The tug was taken by pirates in the port of Manila and after a veritable odyssey via Taiwan and Japan, she was finally returned to Fairplay two weeks later in Hong Kong.

In January 1990 she was involved in the salvage of the Iranian MT ‘Kharg’, together with her sister vessel “FAIRPLAY XIV”. The “Kharg”, a turbine tanker with 270.000 tons of crude oil on board and a draught of 26m had encountered serious problems in a typhoon just off the Moroccan coastline.

In September 1990 in Guinea, West-Africa, 18 African refugees stealthily stowed themselves away aboard an accommodation-pontoon which was to be towed to Europe. It was only when they had come as far as the Dutch coast that the  “FAIRPLAY IX” crew detected the stowaways.

For the last two years, “FAIRPLAY IX” has mainly been operative towing new-build offshore-hulls from Black Sea yards where they were constructed, to Norway.

On the 26th of January 2011, the “FAIRPLAY IX” was delivered in Bremerhaven to her new Greek owners ‘The Spanopoulos Group’. Forthwith, she will fly the flag of Marshal Islands and sail under her new name ‘CHRISTOS XXIV’.

Fairplay Towage was established in Hamburg in 1905 and is active in deepsea- and coastal towage, salvage, offshore services and pontoon-chartering. Fairplay’s core business is harbour towage, with their own tug stations in Hamburg, Rostock, Wismar, Stralsund, Wolgast (all in Germany) and Swinoujscie as well as Sczcecin (Poland). In 1998 Fairplay established a harbour towage set-up in Rotterdam followed in 2008 with an operational set-up in Antwerp.

In addition, Fairplay is a founding member of the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Küstenschutz”, a pool of three German tug-owners who charter the privately managed ETVs “NORDIC”, “BALTIC” and “Fairplay-25” to the German Government.

 Press Release
Hamburg, 26.01.11

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