Carlo Magno Tug Pulling Drilling Platform On The Sea?

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drilling platform being pulled by tug boat near Island of Kea

It’s not the clearest or best quality photo but mostly I took it to figure out what I was looking at out in the distance on the sea, towards the Island of Kea. I had been looking out when I spotted what appeared to be an odd-shaped craft that had me curious. My cheap binoculars didn’t help much, but it definitely appeared to not be a ship.

So, I thought I’d attach my zoom lens to the camera mounted on a tripod. When I zoomed in on one of the resulting photos, I could see that this was some kind of platform, but I’m not entirely sure what, being pulled by a tugboat, I later identified via VesselFinder as the Carlo Magno. I couldn’t see the tug with the naked eye at first, but when I realized from the photo it was out there, I could see a small dot that is probably the tug.

What VesselFinder reported about the journey of this tug seems a bit weird. The website claims the Carlo Magno left Istanbul, Turkey on June 2, 2023 (7 days ago) and is destined to arrive in Aliaga, Turkey on June 11, 2023. Unless it attached itself to this platform elsewhere, it’s a very strange route that it would be passing by the Island of Kea, Greece.

The photo is zoomed in and cropped from the original. Taken at 100 ISO with shutter speed of 125 and f/6.3, it was the clearest one I had. Consider that the subject is more than 10km away from my vantage point, according to the measuring/distance guide on VesselFinder. I had some difficulty getting the subject in focus, and today was a warm day with the temperature (finally) hitting 30C. There was quite a bit of humidity rising off the sea, and I’ve discovered that sometimes it can be near to impossible to get sharp photos from a distance, when the subject is on the sea. The zoom lens also magnifies the water vapor, so getting anything from a distance of more than 10km wasn’t bad. I wasn’t really trying for a “super” photo; it was more of an interest to see if I could anything usable to zoom in and figure out what my naked eyes were looking at.

If anyone knows what that platform is used for, I’d appreciate it if you let me know in the comments section below. As well, what sort of route is it along with the tugboat pulling it. There has been a lot of tension over the past several years between Greece and Turkey with Turkey sending out exploration ships into what Greece claims as their territorial waters in the Aegean, so I can’t really see that this platform, what ever it’s use, would be tolerated this close to the mainland, if it belongs to Turkey, but I don’t know at all, what’s going on here.


I was doing a little more research and came across an article describing the journey of the Carlo Magno. Indeed, it seems to have a history, at least once, of pulling an oil platform to Aliaga, Turkey where it was scrapped. This article from April 22, 2023 shows the tug pulling a different oil platform than the one in my photo and began its journey in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA. That must be quite the journey for a little tug boat!

Here’s the article.

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