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MARCH 2001 NEWSLETTER

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 Stirling sell out to Seacor

The news broke around March 8th that Stirling Shipping had sold their ships for $100milllion plus debt to Seacor. Stirling were formed by Harrisons (Clyde) a Glasgow based ship-owner in the 1970s. The company built four small platform ships to their own design and made them available for work. The first job they got was the use of one of the ships for a lager commercial.

Since then they have had variable fortunes, but seemed to turn around when they purchased the Star Offshore fleet. This expansion was followed by a steady influx of new vessels, the last to enter service being the Stirling Iona. Two further large anchor-handlers are being built in UK.

It is rumoured in Aberdeen that Seacor intend to leave the current management in place, so the outside world may not see any change. It would now appear that all UK based supply vessel companies have American or Norwegian owners apart from Specialist Marine Services, and that the only remaining British owned and managed support vessel company is BUE.

Tidewater continue to purchase ships

latest news amongst the brokers in Aberdeen is that Tidewater have purchased the Torm Eagle and Torm Osprey, two KMAR 404s owned by Torm and formally managed by Gulf Offshore.

In addition to these vessels Tidewater has apparently ordered five VS 486 from the Yantai Raffles yard in China. One can only say that their proposed action last year to spend a lot of money is being fulfilled. European supply vessel owners who sometimes look down a bit on their competitors in the US Gulf should remember that Tidewater claim to have developed the UT704, and at one stage around 25 years ago owned the most powerful anchor-handlers in the world.

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