Not quite as fast as her name might imply, the barge Lightning was used to move food aid from the United States to West Africa earlier this year in a round voyage taking three and a half months to accomplish. Part of an articulated tug/barge (ATB) set, the 7,164dwt Lightning is a bow door-equipped ro-ro barge pushed by the 5,910hp tug Thunder. Together, the two vessels delivered 199 containers of food to the ports of Freetown, Sierra Leone; Lomé, Togo; and Douala, Cameroon. The cargo landed at Togo was destined for Bamako, Mali, 900 miles inland. Prior to her West African trip, the ATB set had received a major overhaul in Singapore after which she loaded US military equipment in the Philippines to take back to the US. JS

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