Titan's State-Of-The-Art Refloating Techniques Come Through In A Pinch
A specialist in wreck removal, Titan Maritime Industries, Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. successfully raised two vessels recently, one marking its first job in Europe. The first, the raising of the 8,000- ton M/V Frota Humaita from her capsized positioning in the Port of Dunkirk, highlighted Titan's stateof- the-art raising techniques and capabilities.
The vessel was raised without the aid of external heavy lift equipment, a method which was declared impossible by a number of the company's competitors. In a sense, the vessel was raised by computer, as the extremely precise pumping sequence was determined by a purpose- designed computer program.
The physical results so accurately followed the computer projections that the vessel reportedly never had more than two degrees of heel off that which was anticipated. The 459-foot vessel was sunk in 59 feet, flooded in all compartments and listing 58 degrees. The ship was refloated 24 days after the official starting date.
More recently, in March of this year, the Ocean Princess struck a submerged obstruction shortly af- Circle 296 on Reader Service Card ter departing her berth in Belem, Brazil. The resultant flooding required that the vessel be beached, and almost immediately the vessel started a nearly non-stop descent into the mud bottom.
Titan, acting on speculation, arrived with divers and equipment to undertake an immediate underwater survey, and two days later was awarded three simultaneous "day rate" contracts for pollution control and clean up, for diving services to survey damage, and for salvage services. The intent was that contracts would terminate once terms for a lump sum, "no cure, no pay" contract had been agreed upon. Prompt action was needed at the outset, as the vessel was settling into the mud at the rate of more than three feet per day. The job was a race against the mud, as deck after deck disappeared under the surface. Pumping commenced after the contract was signed, and together with Titan's in-house salvage crew, naval architects and computer and computer operator, the vessel was re-floated and delivered to a safe anchorage with a nine degrees list to port just 38 hours later.
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