Tag Archives: salvage

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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SALVAGE: MSC Flaminia finds refuge in Germany

After more than five weeks of negotiations the fire-ravaged boxship MSC Flaminia has finally been granted a port of refuge at the newly-constructed German deep sea container port of Wilhelmshaven.

However, prior to this the partially burnt-out ship will need to pass a safety inspection today at a location 40 nautical miles off Lands End to ensure she is safe and stable enough to proceed under tow through the English Channel – the busiest seaway in the world. 

At four knots the passage will take more than a week and assuming all goes well, once off the German coast the vessel will be anchored in the German Bight, approximately 12 nautical miles off Heligoland, where it will then be subject again to an inspection by dangerous goods specialists, chemists and a team of salvage experts. 

If it is once again determined safe, the MSC Flaminia will be towed to Wilhelmshaven – Germany’s only deep sea container port – at Jade Bight on the North Sea coast. 

Edited from http://felixstowedocker.blogspot.com.br/2012/08/msc-flaminia-wilhelmshaven-confirmed.html

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SALVAGE: MSC Flaminia to find shelter in the North Sea

The fire ravaged MSC Flaminia is to be towed to a sheltered anchorage in the North Sea, its owners confirmed Tuesday.

Reederei NSB said the ship will be towed to German waters prior to being transferred to an as yet unnamed port.

An initial inspection of the 6,732-teu MSC Flaminia (built 2001) will be carried out by British, Dutch and French experts on behalf of the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The ship will be brought to a position 30 miles from the UK to enable the inspection team to board the vessel on Friday.

“Much has been done to stabilise the ship since the accident last month,” said Hugh Shaw, the UK Secretary of State’s representative for Maritime and Salvage Intervention (SOSREP).

“The outcome of the inspection will be made available to all coastal States involved with the incident and will enable them to determine if there are any further requirements before the ship transits the English Channel en-route to German Territorial waters,” he added.

Once the ship is anchored off Germany firefighters, chemists and engineers will then go aboard to determine which hazards might emanate from the vessel and its cargo.

“Only afterwards a decision to which port the vessel will be towed, can be made,” Reederei NSB said in a statement.

The containership and its accompanying group of tugs are now located about 350 nautical miles off the entrance to the English Channel.

Reederei NSB said it expects the ship to reach a so-called sheltered area in German territorial waters in the week after the next.

The German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies estimates that the complete salvage operation will take up to two months.

“We are glad that after the assignment to the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, the salvage of our MSC Flaminia is finally proceeding,” said Reederei NSB chief executive Helmut Ponath.

“To us this indicates that our company’s philosophy is right and the German flag pays off,” he added.

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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


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SALVAGE: “The dangerous job of emptying the ‘Rena'”

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