Casualties – CHEM P salvage update – 26.03.2022

A week after the saga of the tanker CHEM P that happened last Saturday 19th March (Public Holiday in Malta) on Saturday 26th March, 2022 (Election Day at Malta) it was the turn that the 59.25 metre offshore tug/supply ship OPAL take over. She arrived at OPL Malta on Wednesday 23rd March around 0647 hrs.

1454 hrs – VTS to OPAL – You can heave up anchors and permission was granted to pass from the Comino Channel via the East Coast.

1457 hrs – OPAL to VTS – 3 shackles more in the water.

1510 hrs – OPAL to VTS – Underway to Bunkering Area 6.

As a tug she’s definitely not a new face for Malta though she’s 13 years old. Below images are while towing the container ship SEASPAN LONCOMILLA bound for Palumbo Malta Shipyard Ltd back to 5th February, 2018.

1821 hrs – VTS issued a strong SE wind warning valid until 2200 hrs of which will be amended accordingly.

1831 hrs – VTS to OPAL – Asked a question if the tug is ready to take over the tanker CHEM P from Tug Malta tugs

1834 hrs – CHEM P to VTS – After she (tanker) was asked – Weather Conditions in the area was Force 5 to 6 gusting to 37 knots with 2 ½ metre swell.

1835 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – Is it safe for OPAL to take over with reply as YES.

1836 hrs – VTS to OPAL – You can go close to tugboat ST.ELMO and access the conditions while CHEM P is ready to receive you and to confirm if the towing operation will be done or not

1852 hrs – ST.ELMO to VTS – Starting releasing.

1910 hrs – ST.ELMO to VTS – Tugboat is released and to return back to Grand Harbour. VTS replied that permission has been granted to pass through the Comino Channel on her way to Valletta.

1915 hrs – ST.ELMO to VTS – Fresh instructions are that the tug will stay in the area until OPAL towing wire is secured.

2308 hrs – 1821 hrs – VTS issued a strong SE wind warning valid until 0900 hrs on Sunday 27th of which will be amended accordingly.

Sunday 27th March, 2022

0152 hrs – Tug ST. ELMO entered Grand Harbour, back to her tug base at Timber Wharf after leaving Area 6 an hour earlier.

0326 hrs – Tug SPINOLA entered Marsaxlokk Harbour, back to her tug base at Junction Quay after leaving the area at 0159 hrs.

Read more with our excellent articles including details and timings with exclusive photographs –

i) Date of Accident – 19.03.2022 –

ii) Salvage Update – 20.03.2022 –

iii) Salvage Update – 21.03.2022 –

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Sunday 27th March, 2022.