Abeille Flandre

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Abeille Flandre
History
Civil and Naval Ensign of FranceFrance
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 an ocean tug, in service with the French Navy since December 1979. She is the property of the French private company Abeilles International.[clarification needed]

She is currently based at Toulon on the Mediterranean coast. She was previously based at Brest, where she assisted maritime traffic off the coast of Brittany. She was able to go to sea at 20 minutes' notice, and would also go to sea whenever winds in excess of 25 knots (46 km/h) were recorded at Ouessant. She was replaced on this station in April 2005 by the more powerful, 80-metre Abeille Bourbon.

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

French rescue tugs on government contracts operate under the authority of a préfet maritime. If a salvage is successful, the French state earns half the value of the salvaged cargo. When the vessel is not required for government service, its operator can request the préfet to release it 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.[clarification needed]

Following her salvage role in the sinkings of the Erika and the Ievoli Sun, the Abeille Flandre gained recognition and public popularity in France. Hervé Hamon's book L'Abeille d'Ouessant is a homage to the ship.

The Abeille Flandre's livery includes the angled blue-white-red stripes of a French ship in public service. She was featured in the Discovery Channel documentary "Wild and Angry Seas", released in August 2003. Clips from the programme can be viewed on YouTube..

External links[edit]