On 4 February 2016 the South African Navy took delivery of a second South African-built Damen ATD Tug 2909 at the naval base in Simon’s Town. Escorted by SA Navy's existing six tugs, Inyathi was welcomed into the naval fleet with a traditional sail past.
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. Inyathiand Imvubujoin two Damen Stan Tugs delivered in 2006 by DSCT, then known as Farocean Marine.
“We are very happy with the result of this project. Imvubuhas 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,” said the South African Navy's Project Officer Commander Hermann van Geems.
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.
“We are proud that the local content in the two Damen ATD Tug 2909 tugs amounts to over 50%. The construction of these two vessels has also contributed to South African skills development and job creation through Damen Shipyards Cape Town’s apprenticeship programme,” said DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi.
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.
Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 5,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.