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May 8 2013.

GPS Marine Contractors Limited were in the process of towing a raft of nine pipes ranging in length from 800m to 240m with the Ocean going Tug Hibernia from Norway to Ghana, when the shortest length of pipe, (280m and 2m diameter), took a noticeable deflection, indicating that there was water ingress. A suitable port of refuge was required at short notice in order to beach the pipe and effect repairs.

Over the high water period on yesterday evening, the pipe was towed into Newhaven's Western Bight by the tug MTS Taktow, assisted by Cutts Marine vessel Coast Runner and the Newhaven Pilot Boat. The pipe was secured to the Sea Wall and repairs commenced by GPS Marine, with the assistance of Titan Maritime (Newhaven), Cutts Marine (Newhaven) and Newhaven Port Authority. It is hoped that repairs will be completed this week and the pipe can continue its journey.

GPS Marine director of special projects, Gary Spencer, said: "To be able to source a port of refuge so readily on a Bank Holiday Monday was, in my opinion, a very tall order. I found  the Newhaven harbour master's availability and willingness to accept the pipeline and the understanding of the predicament, together with the provision of port services and infrastructure ideal for our needs. It is a measure of the maritime expertise which can be found at the port of Newhaven.

"I would like to thank the harbour master and all the staff at Newhaven Port, firstly for allowing us to enter with this considerable pipe, and secondly, for the assistance provided by the pilots and local operators to berth the pipe alongside. Considerable efforts were made by all concerned to bring the difficult berthing and mooring operation to a successful conclusion without incident and then to supply the goods and materials required for the repairs to take place in a timely manner. I hope repairs can now be affected soon, to allow us to return the pipe to the convoy waiting in Tor Bay and resume passage to Ghana".

Newhaven Port has once again demonstrated its ability to handle special projects with efficiency and professionalism. It has already hosted pipelines for Boskalis Westminster Ltd., Jack-up Rigs for Titan Salvage and Fugro Secore, been the O&M Base for the Southern Water Long Sea Outfall Project at Friars Bay, the mob/demob site for the Rampion Windfarm Metmast, and secured the O&M contract with Eon for the Rampion Windfarm.