Vixen tows the Tattershall Castle

tattershall castle tower bridge

Early on the morning of Monday 19th January, Livett’s newest tug Thames Vixen towed The Tattershall Castle downriver in a project involving the collaboration of GPS Marine, Commercial Marine & Piling (CMP) and the Port of London Authority (PLA). The floating bar was towed from its permanent moorings at Embankment to Woolwich, where she remained before a further tow to dry dock in Hull for renovation and maintenance work to be carried out.

The project featured various challenges requiring expertise in a range of fields, from preparing the permanently moored vessel for towage to the maneuvering and controlling of what is a fairly large and unusual load safely and efficiently.

CMP carried out all work that was focused on the static areas of the project, preparing the vessel for the tow with measures such as safely detaching the brow, disconnecting the funnel (to allow a safe passage under bridges), disposing of waste and sewage and removal of necessary utilities on board.

GPS Marine was on this occasion the principle towage contractor, supplying two tugs for the journey downriver (one each side at the stern) to help stabilise the long paddle steamer.

Livett’s tug, Thames Vixen, was the lead tug and towed the Tattershall Castle to Woolwich. This was her first major tow since joining the fleet in December 2014. As well as providing the tug and crew for the actual passage of the Tattershall Castle, Livett’s also supplied the safety boat (M.V. Meridian) at the Embankment site while CMP carried out ground work from early January.

This complex operation was conducted under the auspices of the PLA, who also provided compulsory pilotage.

We were able to capture fantastic footage of the tow in hi-speed, please visit our YouTube page to view the video.

This collaboration between all four organisations was a seamless process which resulted in the safe and successful transportation of the famous and much-loved vessel and adds to Livett’s ever-growing portfolio of towing large and unusual loads. To find out more about our tugs and towage services please browse our website, or for enquiries please contact