Crowley Tugs Work Together to Load LP Odyssey Launch Platform for Offshore Ship Transfer

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Five Crowley tugboats recently worked together to load the LP Odyssey, a self-propelled, semi-submersible mobile spacecraft launch platform, onto a heavy-lift ship for Barber Moss Ship Management on behalf of Sea Launch/S7 Space.

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"We are very proud of our crew, who did an excellent job of exceeding our customer’s expectations despite the challenges of the operation and maintaining the highest level of flexible and safe operations."

Five Crowley tugboats recently worked together to load the LP Odyssey, a self-propelled, semi-submersible mobile spacecraft launch platform, onto a heavy-lift ship for Barber Moss Ship Management on behalf of Sea Launch/S7 Space. In less than 48 hours, Crowley tugs Master, Leader, Admiral, Veteran and Scout were successfully mobilized for this unique job, complied with customer and regulatory requirements, and began towing the platform from Los Angeles Harbor to an outside anchorage near Long Beach.

Once at anchorage, the 436-foot long by 220-foot wide platform, which called the Port of Long Beach home for more than 20 years, was to be floated onto the Xin Guang Hua heavy transport ship for final transport to the eastern coast of Russia, just south of Port of Vladivostok. Unfortunately, weather conditions and resulting sea swells at anchorage delayed the final set down of the platform onto the ship.

The Crowley tugs continued on stand by while authorities and Crowley’s operations team developed an alternative solution. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that the best course of action was to move the platform and heavy-lift ship back inside the harbor break water to a suitable depth of water for the operation. In close coordination with local authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard, Crowley’s operations team formulated a plan for a loading window that would minimize interruptions to other port traffic in the busiest port in the United States.

Two days after the initial attempt, the heavy-lift vessel was staged inside the break water under a Crowley tug escort, while the other four Crowley tugs positioned the LP Odyssey over the heavy-lift vessel, and the customer’s operations team de-ballasted and fastened the LP Odyssey for transport.

“We are very proud of our crew, who did an excellent job of exceeding our customer’s expectations despite the challenges of the operation and maintaining the highest level of flexible and safe operations,” said Josh Ellis, vice president of operations and engineering, Crowley’s marine services group. “Thanks to our excellent team, we were able to activate our vessels and position them onsite for this unique job very quickly. Our team, from shore to office, performed seamlessly together in the safe loading of the LP Odyssey onto the Xin Guang Hua.”

Crowley’s Master, Leader, Admiral, and Scout are 105-foot, U.S.-flagged, Harbor Class tractor tugs. They feature Voith Schneider, twin-cycloidal propulsion and a hydrofoil-shaped skeg that provides for greatly improved steering, control and seakeeping ability when the vessel runs at high speeds in the skeg-first direction. In addition, the unique hydrodynamics of the hull result in increased tons of steering and braking force, which are available to assist or control a vessel at higher speeds.

Crowley tug Veteran is one of two highly maneuverable, Valor Class tugs suitable for ship assist, tanker escort and general towing service. The tugs have Rolls Royce Aquamaster Z-drive units and can generate over 90 tons of direct bollard pull. The deep forward-skeg design of the hull results in excellent directional stability as well as providing additional indirect-pull for assist and escort operations. The Markey DEPC 52 bow winch has full render/recover capability, maximizing ship handling versatility and safety as well as allowing for full wheelhouse control.

About Crowley
Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of the 128-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, is a privately held family- and employee-owned company that provides marine solutions, energy and logistics services in domestic and international markets. Crowley operates under four business units: Crowley Logistics, a logistics supply chain division that includes ocean liner services; Crowley Shipping, which encompasses ownership, operations and management of conventional and dual fuel (LNG) vessels, including tankers, container ships, multipurpose, tugboats and barges; engineering; project management; and naval architecture through its subsidiary Jensen Maritime; Crowley Fuels, a fuel transportation, distribution and sales division that also provides liquefied natural gas (LNG) and related services; and Crowley Solutions, which focuses on global government services and program management, government ship management, expeditionary logistics and government-oriented freight transportation services. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found at http://www.crowley.com.

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David DeCamp
Crowley
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