Tag Archives: New Zealand

SALVAGE: The wreck of Rena, dangerous as the “inside of a washing machine”

Salvage experts tasked with removing the bow section of the Rena wreck are working in dangerous conditions similar to the “inside of a washing machine”.

Frank Leckey, of US-based company Resolve Salvage & Fire, said salvors had to cut sections of the bow into small pieces and navigate their way along slippery surfaces while the ship was on a 32-degree list.

At the same time, the wreck was being battered by rough seas, making the job more challenging.

“It’s like cutting in the inside of a washing machine. The sea is coming in and it’s quite rough then it batters around inside the ship then it wants to get out again. The waves are rolling inside the wreck so it’s fairly dangerous for us,” he said.

“[The ship’s condition] has changed since we got here. It was 22 degrees – now it’s 32 degrees so it’s very steep and slippery. It’s like we’re walking on the side of a mountain.”

The salvors task is to reduce the Rena’s bow section to one metre below the water line at Astrolabe Reef.

This was done by cutting up pieces of the bow into 1.5-2 tonne pieces for a helicopter to lift to a waiting barge.

Mr Leckey said this was the first time helicopters had been used in a wreck removal.

“The equipment we’re using – the use of a helicopter – in a wreck removal has never been done like this before. The equipment we’re using is specialised, the crew are specialised, the helicopter is a new thing and the closer we get to the water we have to use special floating equipment, and divers that have five years-plus experience will be doing this, so it’s a big task ahead.”

Salvors spent nine hours at the wreck yesterday, from 7am, cutting the bow section into suitable sizes for the helicopter to lift. Once about 20 pieces had been cut, the helicopter was called to move the pieces to a waiting barge.

“From 1-2pm, the helicopter came out and they lowered a hook and we put the rigging on to the hook and loaded on the pieces, which were still connected at this point.

“Once the helicopter had tension, we cut the remaining steel and it was put on the barge. Then once it touched down, they released it and came back for the next load of pieces.”

Mr Leckey said this process continued for about an hour, until the helicopter had to refuel.

Salvors continued to cut sections of the bow until 4pm, when heavy rain set in. Mr Leckey said the crew could work in most conditions, except when there was heavy rain or lightning. A second specialised helicopter was involved in the salvage activities.

Mr Leckey said the Australian machine was able to land on the bow of the ship and transport crew to and from the vessel each day. A maximum of 12 crew could be on the wreck at one time, due to limited space and the challenging conditions.

Mr Leckey said the highest part of the bow was about 17m above the water and the other side was “practically under water”. Salvors were cutting “from the inside out” at both ends of the bow.

He hoped the project would be finished within 100 days.

He said the crew involved was from United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Ireland and Poland. They were “the best possible team, the most experienced and perhaps the craziest to do a job like this”.

Meanwhile, the ship’s insurer, The Swedish Club, said marine life had returned to Astrolabe Reef.

John Owen, senior claims manager for The Swedish Club and who was overseeing the recovery project, said: “I’ve recently seen some under water images of huge numbers of fish, of great varieties and huge numbers, so the habitat is already being established by the species that are out there.”

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Damaged Russian fishing ship heading for NZ

The Russian fishing vessel Sparta was on its way out of the Ross Sea on Wednesday after temporary repairs to its hull were completed.

The 48-metre vessel with 32 crew has been stranded off the Antarctic ice shelf since 16 December when its hull was pierced by ice.

Chris Henshaw of Maritime New Zealand‘s Rescue Co-ordination Centre told Summer Report the ship was fit to begin its journey out of Antarctic waters accompanied by the Korean icebreaker Araon.

“They’ve got approximately 100 miles of ice to get through, and once she’s clear of the ice the intention is, we understand, that Sparta will then make her way to Lyttelton.”

Mr Henshaw says it will take about 12 hours to get beyond the ice, at which point the Russian vessel is expected to rendezvous with sister ship Chiyo Maru No. 3.

Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/94798/damaged-russian-ship-on-its-way-to-nz

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NEW ZEALAND | ‘Quick-thinking pilot’ saved Schelde Trader

The charterers of the Schelde Trader that ran aground in the port entrance last Friday [Oct 28] are praising the Port of Tauranga for its quick actions.

Maersk’s Auckland based New Zealand country manager Julian Beavis says the Port was very quick off the mark (sic) in reacting to the incident.

“These things do happen very infrequently, but they do – and it’s the responsibility of everybody to be trained to deal with incidents when they happen. Everybody who was involved acted with great despatch, and I’m very grateful to the Port, and everybody down there for what they did.”

Dutch registered Schelde Trader is chartered by Maersk, and was leaving Tauranga for Noumea when her engine failed.

When the engine stopped the hydraulics failed, which meant steering was also lost. As the ship began to swing across the current, the Port of Tauranga pilot gave the command for the man on the bow to let go the port anchor.

The anchor slowed the ship enough so that when the Schelde Trader hit the rocks, it was a relatively gentle collision, compared to what could have happened.

Without the pilot’s quick actions, the 8000 tonne container ship would have struck the rocks at about 12 knots, causing serious damage to the ship. As it was she was able to be pulled free on the outgoing tide, only a few minutes after grounding.

The Port of Tauranga pilots train on simulators for a range of eventualities, says Port of Tauranga operations manager Nigel Drake.

Harbour pilots are Master Mariners who guide ships into and out of the port of Tauranga. It is a centuries old convention that uses local knowledge to ensure the safety of ships as they enter and leave ports around the world.

The Schelde Trader was scheduled to depart for Noumea on the Friday morning.  The pilot boarded about 10.30am, says Port of Tauranga Operations manager Nigel Drake.

“The pilot undertakes a passage plan with the master which is normal practice,” says Nigel. “He talks with the master of the vessel about the manoeuvre from the berth, the conditions both weather and tide prevailing, and any swell that might be encountered in the seas outside the harbour.”

In the case of the Schelde Trader, a relatively small 133 metre, 6,700 gross tonne container ship, draught was not an issue, says Nigel.

A single tug helped clear the ship from the berth, and stood by at the No 1 berth for its next job as the Schelde Trader entered the cutter channel. She rounded the turn and was on course to pass between B and C buoys when the engine stopped.

Fonte: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/18232-quick-thinking-pilot-saves-ship.html

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MARITIME | Rena salvors keep close eye on buckling hull

Rena’s buckling has got worse, the cofferdam system has been destroyed and the salvage team is concerned existing cracks in the hull could spread higher up on the stricken vessel.

But Maritime New Zealand salvage unit manager Bruce Anderson said the salvage team was continuing to work onboard and making good progress.

Mr Anderson said the salvage crews working on the pumping system discovered the coffer dam or water-tight barrier under construction to gain access to the submerged starboard fuel tank was destroyed in the heavy weather conditions after they left the vessel.

“Given the amount of time it would take to rebuild it, they have decided to focus their efforts on hot tapping,” he said.

The cofferdam was installed to enable salvors to gain access to the number 5 starboard tank, which holds 358 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and is still under water.

To hot tap this tank, a flange is bolted to the deck of the flooded passageway and a hole is cut into the tank through the flange, and water pumped in to raise the oil to the top so it can be pumped out.

Mr Anderson said the salvage team had set up two hot taps and was now pumping water into the starboard tank.

While this was a slower method of recovery, possibly two tonnes an hour, it was the best option available. Meanwhile another salvage team was continuing to pump the lube and hydraulic oils and other muck in the engine room into a centralised tank. Divers surveying the buckling also confirmed it had worsened and the concern was that the existing cracks in the hull may spread higher up on the ship, he said.

Mr Anderson said if further cracking did occur it could develop quite quickly but the salvage team would continue to work on board while it was safe to do so.

Despite these setbacks Mr Anderson said Svitzer has been looking ahead to the next phase of the salvage operation. The crane barge ST60 – which would be used to remove containers from the ship – was on the scene and would begin undertaking seas trials.

A long ocean-going barge with a large crane onboard would also join the salvage operation. It is expected to arrive in Tauranga from Singapore in about 29 days. The barge would bring with it more salvage equipment which would enable the salvors to gain access to the inside of the hold to remove containers underwater, he said.

Salvors would be here for the long haul, said Mr Anderson.

[…]

Source: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/news/worried-rena-salvors-keep-eye-on-buckling-hull/1163026/

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RENA AGROUND: Bad weather forces salvors to suspend oil pumping

http://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/5810592/Rena-hopes-pinned-on-extra-pump

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New Zealand accuses Rena of ‘cutting corner’

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jcT5bz9ESuzcm_mrtdAmqI8Y4ExA?docId=CNG.c64df32d3fbbf3fe3cb3391d1c3e4aa2.371

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Rena: Too unstable to pump oil

Read more at http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10759239

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