Rescue boat makes a splash

The Spanish coastguard has added a new protection vessel with special capabilities for towing and cleaning up after oil spills to its rescue fleet.

Rolls-Royce designed and provided the main equipment for the Spanish Maritime Safety Authority’s new vessel, Don Inda. It was built by Astilleros Zamakona, based at Santurce-Bilbao in Spain.

With a bollard pull of 220 tonnes, the primary role of the 80m-long vessel is towing tankers of unlimited size under adverse conditions.

Its towing winch is designed to use the full bollard pull capability. The main winch is a two-drum, hydraulic Rauma Brattvaag unit which takes 83mm wire and is capable of pulling 300 tonnes with a 550 tonne brake-holding load.

For escort work there is a winch on the foredeck with a 45-tonne pull/250-tonne brake load equipped with synthetic rope towlines. A strongly fendered reinforced bow allows the vessel to push disabled ships, and the aft deck layout is designed to give a clear lead for towlines.

The Don Inda is flexible enough to take on other roles, including pollution clean-up.

For oil recovery, the vessel has a tank capacity of about 1,730 cubic metres. Compared with other vessels with recovered oil capacity, this figure can be multiplied because an oil/water separation system is built in.

The recovered oil tanks can be filled with about 95 per cent oil and five per cent water. The separator discharges water clean enough to meet environmental regulations back into the sea. Because the recovered oil may have a high viscosity, all the tanks are heated, enabling oil to be pumped to another vessel or ashore.

This feature means the authority’s vessels can act as pumping stations in the event of a massive oil spill.