On 4 February 2016 the South African Navy took delivery of a second South African-built Damen ATD Tug 2909 at the naval base in Simon’s Town. Escorted by SA Navy's existing six tugs, Inyathi was welcomed into the naval fleet with a traditional sail past.
Inyathi – meaning buffalo – is the second Damen ATD Tug 2909 in a two vessel replacement contract awarded to Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) after a transparent tender process. The first, named Imvubu – meaning hippo – was delivered in July 2015.
The two new tugs will be deployed for towing, mooring and fire-fighting operations for the South African Navy’s current and future fleet of vessels under all-weather, heavy sea, restricted visibility, day and night conditions within the confines of the Southern African ports and in coastal waters. Inyathi and Imvubu join two Damen Stan Tugs delivered in 2006 by DSCT, then known as Farocean Marine.
"We're are very happy with the result of this project," says the South African Navy's Project Officer Commander Hermann van Geems. "Imvubu has certainly proven her worth over the last 6 months and we expect the same from her sister vessel. Damen has been excellent to work with throughout."
Contributing to local skills development and job creation
DSCT built the registered SAMSA Class VIII vessels with a South African workforce in keeping with governmental imperatives to create and maintain local job opportunities.
“We are proud that the local content in the two Damen ATD Tug 2909 tugs amounts to over 50%,” says DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi. “The construction of these two vessels has also contributed to South African skills development and job creation through Damen Shipyards Cape Town’s apprenticeship programme.”
Proven design outfitted for African requirements
The robust and proven ATD Tug 2909 design has excellent manoeuvrability, high indirect towing forces and great stability. Compact and powerful, the ATD Tug 2909 have a bollard pull of 43 tonnes, a length of 29 metres, a beam of 9.98 metres, a maximum speed of 13.2 knots. They were further outfitted with SA Navy equipment to ensure equipment duplication and maintenance saving.