Ice Tow   16 comments

I’ve been asked how we go about towing icebergs, or to post about ‘Ice Age Continental Drift’ the Movie, but as I haven’t got permission to post about the movie, you are stuck with more of my iceberg stories.

So first of all, we either get asked by the rig to checkout a likely suspect they have seen on their radar, or we see one ourselves that is posing a risk to the safety of the rig. Once the ice candidate is confirmed we go in for a closer look.

Here the captain is checking out the berg to make sure it is possible to tow.Ice circle

Once confirmed its go for tow the guys on deck get to work.

This is the end of the rope, we use a dyneema rope which is very strong and designed to float (right of shot) with 3 large buoys attached.Buoys

The dyneema rope with the buoys attached is dropped into the water, we then pay out this rope as we sail past the berg.Paying out

Once far enough past the berg we come back on ourselves. Here we are rounding the berg, you can see the buoys in the distance.ice

Now around the berg we make our way to the buoys, when close enough the guys on deck grapple them and pull them on deck.Grapple

With both ends on deck and secure we now slowly move ahead and tighten the rope around the berg, to fast and the rope may slip right off.Tow

Let the tow begin, we will tow this miles away from the rig to a safe place and release it, sometimes bits of the berg will brake off the bottom as we tow and the berg will become top heavy and roll over, on more then one occasion after coming back from lunch I thought we had replaced on berg with another.towing

There are some icebergs that cannot be towed.

Ones with sharp pointy sides where the rope would just slide off.pointy

And ones shaped like dogs!

dog

Posted December 4, 2013 by rigmover in Greenland

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16 responses to “Ice Tow

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  1. Fantastic shots Mark.

  2. What a wonderful post, thank you for the explanation and excellent photos.

  3. VERY INTERESTING, I FROM MEXICO , CD, CARMEN, I WORK WITH THE RIG MOVER, TOGETHER, TO MOVE THE RIG A NEW LOCATION, THE RIG WAS BULDING IN LETORNEAU, VISBURG , MISS, IS A JACK UP THREE LEG. SUPER 116E CLASS.
    GREETINGS FROM MEXICO.

  4. #YayBananas – That is an awesome process, something I wouldn’t have believed until I’d had it explained. How much risk would you say is involved in this? Is the built purpose built to tolerate encounters with most types of icebergs?

  5. Sounds easy when you write it down but…. Love that last but one image – what a graceful shape.

  6. Fascinating! Sounds like you can never get bored in your job, and the photographs are not bad, either ;-) So what happens with icebergs that are shaped like dogs or have sharp pointy sides if you can’t move them and they get too close?

    • Hi SF, in that situation we will back the boat up to the berg, put on full power and wash it away, it can take up to 12 hours though. This is what we were doing when I got this shot, http://rigmover.com/2012/12/31/favourites-of-2012/

      • Washing it away in that you are using the propellers’ thrust to create a current to make it float away? You have no idea how jealous I am of your job, not that I would be able to do it, of course, lol. But still, I wish I was there and could watch first hand, I would even put up with the cold. You wouldn’t happen to take passengers, would you? ;-) …In the absence of that,…keep posting!

  7. Why are you towing icebergs for the movie??

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