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."
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.
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.