Since 1976, Les Abeilles has been protecting 3,120 km of French coastline with 4 Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV) and 3 Oil Recovery Supply Vessel.

For more than 40 years, our tugs have been providing coastal protection and carrying out missions to:

  • prevent wreckages
  • aid and salvage ships in distress
  • fight against oil pollution

Since its creation, we count over 800 successful interventions by our crews.

Crews available 24/7

Relying on the expertise of over 100 employees, Les Abeilles has performed:

  • 535 assistance and salvage operations
  • 660 escorts of damaged vessels
  • 26 anti-pollution operations
  • 270 various operations (containers recovery, buoys, fire fighting, castaways recovery...)

Operational in 40 minutes, our vessels can be pre-positioned at sea in the event of adverse weather conditions.

Our crews have mastered all the assistance techniques and are constantly:

  • in contact with rescue stations
  • ready to intervene in support of the local crews at the incident scene
  • trained in coordinating exceptional operations

We work with a range of partners (Government, local authorities, shipowners, etc.)


Specialized response teams depending on the type of operation

We coordinate all the resources and rescue responders to ensure the best results. Our crews consist of salvage and assistance professionals: salvage masters, officers salvage, salvage engineers, etc.

We can also call upon additional resources:

  • floating cranes
  • barges
  • lightering vessels
  • underwater welders
  • etc.

In terms of interventions, time is precious, so our crews have the legal and administrative skills necessary to guarantee immediate assistance.


Les Abeilles tugs and offshore support vessels coordinate all necessary operations for an effective fight against pollution:

  • installing booms
  • spreading dispersants
  • pumping fuel remaining in tanks
  • evacuation of fuel to a recovery center
  • cleaning up of water using a skimmer and treatment using settling tanks
  • removal of hazardous materials on board and which may be in danger of being spilled into the sea
Assistance, Salvage and Pollution remediation in pictures
  • The rescue, intervention, assistance and salvage tug (RIAS) Abeille Bourbon in the Raz de Sein, in high sea.
  • The rescue, intervention, assistance and salvage tug (RIAS) Abeille Bourbon in the Raz de Sein, in high sea.
  • The Abeille Liberté and the Abeille Bourbon, tugs chartered by the French Navy, in operation on the MSC Napoli, in January 2007.
  • The salvage tug Abeille Bourbon
  • Tug Intervention, Assistance and Rescue (RIAS) Abeille Bourbon performs towing the Panamanian cargo ship Buse Trio.
  • Aerial view of the RIAS Abeille Languedoc surveillance operation in the Strait of Pas-de-Calais.
  • The salvage tug Abeille Bourbon
Bourbon behind the scenes