Dyneema® Fiber Does Double Duty to Tow and Tie Up Stricken Modern Express

The Bay of Biscay between France and Spain is notorious among sailors. Gales and storms compound the effects of the big waves that roll in from the Atlantic Ocean. Lose power here and you run a real risk of the seas playing havoc with the ship - shifting cargo, capsizing or possibly sinking - and the dangers for rescue teams are extreme, particularly during the autumn and winter seasons.

This was the situation faced by the Modern Express in early 2016. The ship, a car carrier, was en-route to Le Havre, France, when she lost propulsion and she turned broadside to the storm. A sitting duck. A Spanish coastguard helicopter lifted off the crew. But the vessel itself, drifting towards the French coast, was in ever-growing danger as it was rolling between 30° and 70°. The fear was that she would sink, her bunkers causing a spill, or be driven aground by the wind and current near the seaside resort of Biarritz. It was vital to get her under control.

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