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Continued Expansion for SMS Towage with latest Vessel Purchase

We are proud to have advised our long-standing clients, SMS Towage Ltd, on their acquisition of the vessel LLOYDSMAN, as the company expands into ports in North East England.

Rebecca Forder, a member of our shipping & transport practice, led the legal team advising SMS in relation to the purchase from Latvian towage firm, PKL Flote, of the LLOYDSMAN, sister ship to the already owned PULLMAN, both of which were built at the Sanmar Shipyard in Turkey.

Delivering engine power of 3,000 kw, the purchase of LLOYDSMAN takes SMS Towage’s total fleet to 20, which covers the ports of Belfast, South Wales, Portsmouth, the Humber and the North East ports, from Blyth to the River Tees.

Paul Escreet, Chairman of SMS Towage, said: “Tugs play a vital role in helping vessels manoeuvre and berth safely at the ports and jetties at all UK ports. This further investment in our fleet means we can better serve our ever-growing customer base at these strategic ports, thereby strengthening the services we provide to our clients.

“There were numerous hurdles to overcome with the purchase of LLOYDSMAN. Ordinarily the vessel would need to enter dry dock to be surveyed before being accepted on the UK Flag. However, dry dock facilities were unavailable in Latvia, but following negotiations with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), it was agreed that the survey could be undertaken when the tug arrived in the UK, which avoided time consuming and expensive delays.

“We continue to be delighted with the advice and help we receive from Andrew Jackson’s shipping and transport team,” he added.

Dominic Ward, senior partner and head of Andrew Jackson’s shipping & transport team added:- “Having worked with SMS Towage for over 20 years, we are particularly delighted to have been able to secure the vessel’s smooth transition into the UK, as the company continues with their successful fleet expansion and growth into the North East of England.”

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