Puerto de Manta, June 28, 2019. Four tugs from Ecuaestibas—a subsidiary of SAAM Towage, located in Ecuador—traveled from different terminals around the country to participate in an extraordinary maneuver, assisting with the arrival of the US Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, at the Port of Manta.
The tugs taking part in this special operation were: Guayas II, San Felipe, Taura and Tigre. The objective of the mission was to successfully dock the large vessel, spanning 272.5 in beam, 32.2 meters in length and towering 10 stories tall. The US Navy required the operation to be carried out by four, 3,000-horsepower tugs with 40 tons of bollard pull (pulling capacity from a fixed point).
“Participating in this maneuver was a privilege from a humanitarian perspective, but it was also a milestone because of how unusual it is for four tugs to help only one vessel. This was a major challenge since it required very precise logistical coordination,” commented the CEO of Ecuaestibas, Juan Alfredo Illingworth.
The executive added that the hospital ship will be docked in Manta for ten days, during which time the tug Tigre will remain at the port. The other three Ecuaestibas tugs will then return to help with deberthing.
The USNS Comfort, now on the first stop of its 2019 deployment mission, is equipped with one thousand beds, 12 operating rooms, an optometry lab, a dental room, a pharmacy and four x-ray machines, among other components.
During its stay in Ecuador, a team of medical professionals will provide assistance to local communities with urgent healthcare needs, including Venezuelans that have left their home country.