At 2am on Friday morning, 16th September 2011, the cargo ship TK Bremen ran aground 2km south of the mouth of the Etel river on the Brittany coast of France.
The ship had left the port of Lorient in the afternoon, intending to anchor north of the island of Groix to await better weather and sea conditions before resuming its journey to England. However, it had great difficulty in holding its anchor, and began to drift while trying to reach another sheltered location. At 0:40, the captain requested assistance to the Etel Regional Operational SAR Centre.
At 1:36, the maritime prefecture in Brest decided not to utilise their tug Abeille Bourbon, but instead requested helicopter support from the NH90 Caiman Marine from the naval air base at LanvÃ©oc-Poulmic. This resulted in the safe rescue of all 19 crew members, using two rotations to and from the Lann-BihouÃ© naval air base which is located 8km north west of Lorient.
Jeremy Parkin - HeliHub.com
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