45 years on since she was built and still sailing 🙂
Built in 1973 by Richards (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Crownworks, Lowestoft, UK (Yard no 515) as RALPH CROSS for Tees Towing Co, Middlesbrough, UK as a Kort Nozzle single screw tug and a bollard pull of 40 tons
In June 1989 she was sold to Tug Malta and renamed GREZ and during one of her towage assistance jobs were assisting the Soviet cruiser SLAVA and the USS BELKNAP during the Malta Summit in December 1989
On May 4th 1995 a mishap happened when GREZ was involved in a collision with the Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. Although the tug listed 90 degrees on impact, she again righted herself but meanwhile taking on a large volume of water. Fortunately none of the crew were injured even if 3 crew on board were thrown overboard. She was later towed inside at Vittoriosa by tug FELICA and assisted by MARI.
During early 2000’s she was seen working at Marsaxlokk Harbour assisting container ships at the Malta Freeport terminal and tankers at various jetties and at the Oil Tanking Facilities
In the meantime she was giving excellent service especially at Valletta.
On 30th January 2007 GREZ was sold to Malta Shipping Ltd, removed Tug Malta logo from her funnel at Timber Wharf and renamed MS 1.
Later on during 2007 she was renamed MS MATTHIAS flying a Panama Flag.
And During 2009 she was sold to Cassar Marine Services, Malta and renamed CMS SEALION. She was drydocked and repainted in Red Orange Livery as seen below –
Of which later on in October same year in 2009 she was back in Blue again – Here leaving Valletta on the 6th October –
Apart from various towages offshore Malta she was also used during conveyances services outside territorial waters (OTW) such with this loaded Iranian owned crude oil tanker NESA back to 17th January 2010 –
During the Libyan Uprising she towed from Malta to Tripoli, Libya and back full of humanitarian aid –
During July/August 2013 she towed 2 Libyan Coast Guard Boats (RAS EL GDIR and ZAWIJA) to Italy for refurbishment –
Back in September 2013 she was involved in towage of the 65.28 metre flat top deck barge P4 –
On the 22nd March 2014 she entered Valletta towing the Cypriot owned barge SUPPLIER 1 bound to Palumbo Malta Shipyard –
Recently she was involved during the salvage operation of the aground tanker HEPHAESTUS at Qawra Point –
And today Tuesday 21st August 2018 she left Valletta bound to Algeria –
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com