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Boat transport vessel outruns pirates en route to Dubai

by PSP Logistics on 15 Mar 2011
Frank from PSP with the Sunseeker .. ©
Worldwide boat transportation firm, PSP, has evaded a pirate attack and trouble in the waters around Egypt to get a multi million pound luxury yacht delivered to the Dubai International Boat Show safely and on time.

Against all odds, PSP managed to defy all circumstances beyond its control and get Sunseeker’s star attraction to the show.

PSP was tasked with transporting the multi-million pound, 30-metre Sunseeker to Dubai in time for the show’s opening morning on March 1.

Its boat transporters loaded the luxury yacht in Antwerp on January 26 and everything was on track for a calm sailing to the port of Jebel Ali.

However, as the vessel reached the Suez Canal in Egypt it was clear that it wasn’t going to be as straightforward as originally planned.

Due to the civil unrest in the country, the canal had been closed and there was a heavy backlog of vessels waiting to get through the narrow waterway. With time ticking away to get the Sunseeker to the show on time, it put two days on the Sunseeker’s transit time.

But the on-water traffic wasn’t the last of PSP’s worries. The vessel containing the precious cargo had to make its way through dangerous waters near the coast of Oman, where attacks by pirates are commonplace.

With such an expensive luxury yacht on board, the vessel had to join a military convoy and travel slowly through the danger zone, ensuring it kept its speed down to six knots – the speed of the slowest vessel in its convoy. The nail-biting experience took away more vital time as the boat show was looming closer.

Just as the vessel came out of the convoy PSP was preparing itself to breathe a sigh of relief when, out of the blue, the vessel was surrounded by Somalian pirates brandishing guns and firing bullets into the air.

PSP had security on board to guard the Sunseeker but took no chances and the captain was ordered to crank up the speed and race away as fast as he could. The captain reported that the vessel behind was boarded by pirates.

With time ticking away until opening day, the team decided to abort its scheduled refueling in Fujairah and race straight on to Dubai in order to get the Sunseeker delivered. It meant a more costly fuel bill in Dubai but PSP was willing to take the hit in order to get the boat to the show.

Disaster averted, the luxury yacht arrived in the port of Jebel Ali and was lifted into the water by PSP in the early hours of March 1. It was skippered at lightening pace to the show site at the Dubai International Marine Club in Mina Seyahi the moment it hit the water.

There was just time for the boat to be polished up before the show opening the following morning.

Arif Oomer, from Sunseeker Middle East, said: 'We were over the moon when the yacht arrived at the show in time for the opening. PSP was faced with some incredibly difficult circumstances beyond its control and despite all this the team pulled through and did a fantastic job. These are dangerous waters but we had every faith in PSP. If the boat had been stolen by the pirates it would have had huge implications for us and our customers. Thanks to PSP for being resourceful as ever and keeping our pride and joy safe!'

Frank Dixie, Managing Director of PSP, added: 'It was a nail-biting experience to say the least but getting the boat to the show on time was our top priority and we weren’t going to let anything get in our way. Everything was stacked against us and this was our first dealing with Sunseeker in Duabi so it was vital that we got their prize yacht there safely and on time.'

More at www.psp-logistics.com
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