Built in 1978 in response to several catastrophic tanker collisions off the French coast, she was originally owned by the French company Les Abeilles (see also below.)
As Abeille Provence she was one of two tugs to the same design, the other was Abeille Normandie.
Despite their large size and tremendous sea keeping abilities, tankers kept getting bigger, and larger tugs were needed. A second and recently a third generation of larger sister tugs have been built by the French government for operation by Les Abeilles.
In 1987 the two were sold but saw little work until acquired by Secunda Marine of Dartmouth, NS. Secunda did major refits on both tugs, with Ryan Leet ex Salvor Commander ex Abeille Provence getting new main engines and a retractable, steerable thruster forward.
Sister Magdelan Sea ex Salvor General ex Abeille Normandie was sold in 2004 and has since carried the names Zouros Hellas and Tsavliris Hellas, and has worked as a salvage tug for Greek owners. She is currently stationed in Cape Town.
Ryan Leet has also worked in various parts of the world in towing, salvage and standyby work.
In these photos taken on December 13, 2009 she was preparing to tow the oil rig, Rowan Gorilla III to position off Sable Island with two other tug/suppliers. [see Shipfax December 25, 2009]Secunda Marine has become J. Ray McDermott Canada Ltd, and operates a fleet of offshore tug/supply vessels.
The large davits on her starboard size, just forward of the funnel, can carry a large rescue/work boat. She used to carry one called Copan Runner, but I have not seen it recently.
Ryan Leet is now mostly a standby vessel, but she can pull her weight, and looks good doing it.