The name Kurtarma stands for safety at the Bosporus. Four Voith Water Tractors of this name are already in service on this busy and dangerous waterway. The fleet of the Turkish Maritime Organization has now been added by another two vessels of the same name. Kurtarma 5 and 6 distinguish themselves by their fire fighting capacities.
All of the six Kurtarma vessels of the Turkish water safety authorities are fitted with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP). The reliability and safety of this propulsion system has convinced the Turkish Maritime Organization since the launch of Kurtarma 1 and 2 in 2000. Faced by rapidly increasing water traffic and a rising number of ship collisions in the nineties, the Turkish authorities had to act quickly. The most severe accident happened in 1994. Close to the estuary mouth into the Black Sea, the two Greek Cypriot vessels “Nassia“ and “Shipbroker“ had collided. 20 000 tons of spilled crude oil turned the Bosporus near Istanbul into a raging inferno. Luckily, the wind did not drive the flames towards the city center but out to the Black Sea, thus narrowly preventing the Turkish metropolis from a disaster.
Over the past 20 years, more than 200 maritime accidents occurred in this strait. Turkey is obliged by international agreements to ensure unhindered sea traffic in the Bosporus – not an easy task in view of the one and a half million people crossing the strait from the European to the Asian shore on ferries, tourist boats and other craft day after day. This is added by numerous container vessels and supertankers transporting 150 million tons of oil and other hazardous goods through the 30 kilometer long and sometimes only 660 meter wide strait between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean every year.
The escort vessels Kurtarma 1 to 4 operate exclusively in this area. On 21 February 2006 they demonstrated their necessity. The Liberian tanker “Genmar Star“ carrying 57 000 tons of kerosene, radioed an emergency: rudder blockage. The captain deftly dropped the anchor of the unmaneuverable ship and stopped the vessel 200 meters off the coast directly in front of the historic Dolmabahce Palace. Kurtarma 3 and Kurtarma 2 took the tanker in tow, moved it to a safe anchoring place in Ahirkapi and thus prevented an eco disaster in the Bosporus.
Kurtarma 5 and 6, which have just entered service, are of identical design with an overall length of 37.6 meters, a width of 12 meters and a draught of 5.80 meters. Built by Istanbul Naval Shipyard, they are each driven by two 2 650 kW diesel engines transmitting their power to two VSPs type 32 R5/265-2. With a bollard pull of 65 tons, Kurtarma 5 and 6 are two high-performance Voith Water Tractors of the E-Class (Escort Class). Equipped as Class 2 fire fighting boats, they are able to expel 7 200 cubic meters of water in an hour with their four monitors. The identically named vessels 1 to 4 only have two monitors with a correspondingly lower fire fighting capacity of 3 600 cubic meters of water per hour.
Voith Turbo (voithturbo.com), the specialist for hydrodynamic drive, coupling and braking systems for road, rail and industrial applications, as well as for ship propulsion systems, is a Group Division of Voith AG.
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