On Friday the 26th February a very unusual visitor approached St Helena from the North West horizon at a speed of approximately 3 knots. The unusual visitor the CASTORO 7 a 79.97m pipe laying submersible floating rig was towed by a high-powered anchor handling tug The Skandi Admiral. The Skandi Admiral who also passed closely to Ascension Island a week earlier called at James Bay as they required some ship Chandlery services.

This service was delivered to the Skandi Admiral by WA Thorpes and Sons with the assistance of The Gannet 3 on arrival.

W.A Thorpes offers Chandlery services to all passing ships and yachts and has been operating on St Helena since 1865.

The Skandi Admiral, Is on route towards the Cape of Good Hope with the next port of call: Port Louis, Mauritius 25th April 2016.

The SKANDI ADMIRAL picked up two from the Island of Curacao in the Caribbean on the 22nd December 2015 after the 40,282 GRT CASTORO 7 had lain idle for 13 months.

This job is a slow one with the average speed being just 3 knots over a distance of 12,600 nautical miles which is likely to span seven months. Castoro 7 in Jamesbay

Skandi Admiral

The Norwegian built and owned 83.30m long SKANDI ADMIRAL is one of the world’s most powerful tugs with a gross tonnage of 4,370 and a bollard pull of 243 tons

The CASTORO 7 measures 79.97m long by 59.09m wide and a transit draft of 11.5m (Ex Viking Piper) is one of the world’s most efficient semi -submersible pipe layers. The CASTORO 7 has an excellent global track record of performance, including successful pipe lay and trunk line operations in the North Sea, West Africa, the Mediterranean, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.

The CASTORO 7 has the ability to lay pipes with a diameter of 8-60 “with a fully automated welding system. The 41 Year old CASTORO 7 departed the island of Curacao, in the Dutch Antilles on the 22 December 2015 bound for Alang, India to be scrapped, a total distance of 12,600 nautical miles at a speed of 3 knots. It is thought that the last time a tug towing a large structure of this size was seen in St Helena 3 years ago.

More info and great photos can be found here.

Thank you to Bruce Salt for supplying additional information and great images.

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