October 09, 2014

A specialist in assistance, salvages, and antipollution, Les Abeilles company ensures the protection of the French coastline. As part of its contract with the French Navy, the company participated in another ORSEC maritime drill this year.

On Monday, September 29, and Tuesday, September 30, 2014, the Abeille Languedoc and the Alcyon participated in a maritime salvage and antipollution drill organized by the English Channel and North Sea administration offices. Drill scenario: an oil tanker breaks down off the French coast. It then collides with the Calais-Dover ferry. When all is said and done, they find many injured people and an oil leak.


The loss of its energy sources having deprived the tanker of its engine as well as all mechanical assistance - winch, windlasses, capstan, etc. - the Abeille Languedoc undertook its tow by ensuring its connection to another vessel using a pass-rope system. The tug - with 12 crew members - subsequently participated in the search for traces of pollution, on the orders of the Cross2. The Alcyon, meanwhile, accompanied the Cherbourg naval base’s anti-pollution unit to simulate the recovery of oil slicks. The vessel discharged fake pollution (rice hulls), followed by the arrival of the airplanes and helicopters responsible for detecting it. The Alcyon then went on to deploy an anti-pollution dam, and placed a pumping system (Transrec) in the water. Eight crew members and the CEPPOL3 captain were on board.

" This year’s drill had many players. They had to jointly manage a real crisis situation that involved assisting a ship in distress, a large-scale marine salvage, and combatting maritime pollution."
Eric pianiCaptain of the abeille languedoc

Dedicated land and maritime cells were created to ensure that the operations were carried out smoothly. “Although in reality, the weather conditions are often poor during maritime accidents, this type of drill in good weather allows us to anticipate a major incident and test the proper coordination among the various players,” says Christian Quillivic, Managing Director of Les Abeilles company. In order to prevent future incidents, the Abeille Bourbon participated in a drill organized by the Préfecture maritime de l’Atlantique (French maritime authorities for the Atlantic) in 2013 to test the emergency tow of the largest container ships on the market.


1 Civil Safety Response Organization - a versatile crisis management system (Organisation de la Réponse de Sécurité Civile)
2 Surveillance and Salvage Regional Operation Center (Centre Régional Opérationnel de Surveillance et de Sauvetage)
3 Anti-pollution Practical Expertise Center (Centre d'Expertises Pratiques de Lutte Antipollution)

Bourbon behind the scenes