By Mark Edward Nero
Harley Marine Services has delivered the M/V Susitna from Seattle to the Philippine Red Cross – a 15,000 nautical mile voyage spanning the Pacific Ocean, the Seattle-based company revealed in late March.
A contract between the Philippine Red Cross and Harley Marine Services was finalized in June 2016, and following initial discussions, Harley Marine said a “special tow team” was formed that included key stakeholders from each HMS department as well as representatives from the naval architecture firm that designed the vessel.
Harley Marine loaded the M/V Susitna onto a barge, the Chatham Provider for the journey. In order to get the M/V Susitna safely onboard, Harley Marine had to utilize the heavy lift ship, Happy Star. To do this, special lifting pad eyes needed to be designed, engineered, fabricated and installed in a very short amount of time.
Once positioned onboard the barge, Harley Marine hired a load master to ensure the vessel was loaded and lashed down prior to leaving. A total of 175 chain lashings and sea stiffeners were added to the vessel to keep the M/V Susitna from moving onboard the barge.
After leaving Seattle in October 2016, the vessel was then transported under tow by the Harley Marine tug Ernest Campbell through Honolulu, Guam and then the Philippines.
The 195-foot M/V Susitna, built in 2010 in Ketchikan, Alaska, is capable of carrying 129 passengers, plus 20 vehicles or one tractor/trailer rig. Originally built for use transporting and delivering equipment, machinery and personnel, the vessel will now be used in future lifesaving disaster response efforts by the Philippine Red Cross.