Abeille Flandre

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Abeille Flandre
Career (France) Civil and Naval Ensign of France
Name: Abeille Flandre
Owner: Abeilles International
Operator:  French Navy
Commissioned: 1978
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,220 tonnes
Length: 63.45 m (208.2 ft)
Beam: 14.74 m (48.4 ft)
Draught: 6.90 m (22.6 ft)
Propulsion: 4 Atlas-MaK K 8 M453 AK diesels, 4 × 2,350 kilowatts (3,150 hp)
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Crew: 10
Sensors and
processing systems:
2 Racal Decca radars

The Abeille Flandre is a high sea tug of the French Navy. She is the property of the French private company Abeilles International, and had been operated by the French Navy since December 1979.

She had previously been based in Brest, where she assisted traffic off the coast of the region of Brittany. The Abeille Flandre could set out with a 20-minute warning, or whenever winds in excess of 25 knots (46 km/h) were recorded in Ouessant. She was replaced at this station in April 2005 by the more powerful, 80-metre Abeille Bourbon. The Abeille Flandre is now based in Toulon on the Mediterranean.

Aft of Abeille Flandre. The nuclear aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle can be seen in the background.

French rescue tugs on government contracts operate under orders of the préfet maritime. If the salvage is successful, the French state earns half the value of the salvaged cargo. When the vessels are not required for government service, operators of can request of the préfet that they be released to perform private salvage and rescue missions. Rates for private salvages are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Fees are never charged to rescue people.

The Abeille Flandre is famous and popular in France for her role after the sinkings of the Erika and the Ievoli Sun. Hervé Hamon wrote an homage in his book L'Abeille d'Ouessant.

Abeille Flandre sports the angled blue-white-red stripes of the ships of the public services at sea on her sides.

External links[edit]

Abeille Flandre was featured in the Discovery Channel documentary "Wild and Angry Seas" released in August 2003. There are many clips from that program on YouTube.