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Robert Smith
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« on: December 23, 2012, 11:46:46 pm »

The text below was taken from Piet Sinke's Shipping News Clippings. Needless to add any comment.

This is the last season greetings send from this vessel. Soon the SINGAPORE will be history and wholesaled, together with LONDON and ROTERDAM. Presently the SINGAPORE is performing her last towage under Dutch flag. An empty barge from Malaysia across the Pacific to Morgan City (USA).
I was already retired, but due to personnel circumstances I was requested by Svitzer Ocean Towage to make this last voyage. I joined SINGAPORE in Honolulu end of November, during a bunker stop. It is a trip down memory lane. In 1984 I was Chief Officer on the SMIT SINGAPORE on her maiden voyage. After that I made many voyages as Captain on the SMITWIJS SINGAPORE. This is my last voyage as Captain and it gives me great pleasure that I can do this on this tug, with a few old time good colleagues. On the other hand it is a sad feeling now the end is near for this branch of Dutch ocean towage, dating back to the nineteenth century. It didn’t have to end this way.

The decline and demise, which took several decades to materialize, was caused by wrong strategies, wrong investments and haughty judgment by Smit International management in the past. The final axe came from the cold and ruthless bean counters in Denmark.
Fortunately other Dutch towing companies are keeping this traditional and reputable Dutch trade alive. Personally I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a good 2013. Let one of your toast during New Year’s Eve be on the “old ladies” and their crews that sailed on them. I wish you all well !! Capt Kees Pronk – Master Singapore
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