Towing of the World’s Largest Containership CMA CGM Marco Polo

By Curious

At 396-meters long and 250,000 tonnes wight, you would think that having to do an emergency towage operation of the largest container vessel in the world CMA CGM Marco Polo, wouldn't be easy task. As it turns out, a recent exercise made on the March 9, 2013 off the coast of France proved that does not have to be the case.
The exercise of towing the worl'd largest containership was carried out using the French emergency towing ship, the Abeille Bourbon, while the CMA CGM Marco Polo was on a 4 hour hiatus from regular service off the Brittany coast.
During the towing exercise, world's largest containership was loaded to 80 per cent capacity and towed for 1 hour at a speed of 6 miles per hour.
The tug vessel Abeille Bourbon that is only 80 meters long compared to 396-meters, was dwarfed by the massive container vessel. Hard to tell though, considering the 200t bollard pull Abeille was able to do the job using only half her engine power.
The container ship Marco Polo is equipped with the Smith Bracket system fore and aft, that allows the Abeille Bourbon to get the tow line in place in just fifteen minutes.
CMA CGM said that the entire exercise went smoothly from the moment the CMA CGM Marco Polo stopped and started to drift, taking up the tow line and tensioning it, going upwind, and lastly the release and recovery of the line.