August 28, 2020 (Google Translation) – On Thursday August 6, 2020, the Tonnerre amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) was put on alert to participate in the support provided by France for the benefit of Lebanon. Arrived in Beirut on August 13, the Tonnerre sailors were put ashore to help rebuild the port, the country’s economic heart. Among these projects, that of the rehabilitation of a pilot boat, a small boat essential to the handling of ships unloading in the port because it transport the port pilot on board ships arriving or leaving the port.
On the arrival of the Tonnerre, none of the boats (tugs and pilot boats) of the civilian piloting station of the port of Beirut is in seaworthy condition. Indeed, moored a few tens of meters from the epicenter of the explosion, they saw the water under their keel disappear in a few seconds, causing them to fall several meters and hit the bottom. Given the damage caused (engines, tree lines, structure, etc.), only a pilot boat is considered repairable.
Along with Lebanese mechanics, 7 electricians and mechanics and a marine carpenter from PHA Tonnerre repaired the boat, the first taking care of the engine repair and the second repairing the switchboard. edge.