Smit Tak Completes Salvage; Wins Refloat Contract
Working with French and Greek salvors, Smit Tak salvage teams recently brought two salvage operations to a successful conclusion. The 4,437-dwt LPG carrier Happy Fellow and the general cargo vessel Darfur reportedly collided at Honfleur. The gas tanker, in ballast, was making for the open sea at the time of the incident. Happy Fellow suffered major damage to its port and engine room.
French company Les Abeilles obtained a Lloyd's Open Forum (LOF) salvage contract. Smit Tak, responding under an International Salvors' Union (ISU) subcontract, immediately sent a senior salvage master and a naval architect to Honfleur.
In association with Les Abeilles, Smit Tak mobilized the sheerlegs crane Rotterdam. However, the casualty's trim was eventually corrected by ballasting the forward cargo tank. This reportedly enabled the crippled vessel to enter Le Havre. Pollution control measures were taken during the salvage operation, including oil skimming in the flooded engine room. Cargo tanks were reportedly gas-freed and inerted with nitrogen, while machinery received preservation treatment.
As Happy Fellow entered port, Kapetan Elias went aground. Another Smit Tak team — working with Greek salvor Loucas Matsas — refloated the 43,442-dwt bulk carrier. Kapetan Elias was bound for South Korea when she went aground on Gedser Reef, near the Danish coast.
After the refloating was accomplished, the casualty was anchored and a diving inspection was performed. Reportedly, due to prompt salvage intervention, very little damage resulted, and Kapetan Elias was able to resume her voyage. In addition, Smit Americas has been awarded a contract to refloat the large derrick barge DLB269 in the Gulf of Mexico. The barge sank during a recent hurricane, and is now resting on the bottom in 65.5 ft. (20 m) of water. This is reportedly a major wreck removal operation, requiring the mobilization of the heaviest units in the Smit fleet which include the Takheave 32 pull barge and the Taklift 8 crane barge.
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