The 2,757 TEU container vessel Fowairet, which suffered hogging damage and hold flooding after running aground on September 20 between Terneuzen and Antwerp with part-hazardous cargo
, has been safely towed to Rotterdam by joint salvors Multraship Salvage and URS Salvage and Maritime Contracting.
The Fowairet had on board almost 2,000 containers, 127 of them with hazardous cargo. After the grounding, the vessel - which also sustained a cracked fuel tank resulting in oil leakage which was contained by anti-pollution craft with sweepers - was held in Flushing harbor. There, using three floating cranes, the joint salvors offloaded the deck cargo of approximately 600 containers into barges in order to reduce the vessel's draft sufficiently to enable it to be shifted and moored at Flushing's Verbrugge Terminal.
At Verbrugge, the oil was pumped out of the vessel's damaged and leaking tanks, and into a lightering tanker, attended by salvage craft, oil booms and onsite anti-pollution craft, and some temporary sealing repairs were effected. About 1,000 more containers were offloaded at Verbrugge, leaving on board 297 boxes (containing non-hazardous cargo) in an attempt to evenly distribute the stresses on the vessel's damaged hull during transit.
Under tow of two tugs, with a further two escort tugs, anti-pollution craft and two fast-rescue boats in attendance, the Fowairet was safely towed to Rotterdam, where it arrived - and was allocated a berth at Maasvlakte - on October 7. The salvage team remained on board the vessel, making inspections throughout the tow.
It is understood that the vessel will be repaired by Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam BV.
Leendert Muller, managing director of Multraship says
, "This was a complex salvage operation which demonstrates once again the resources and expertise of the salvage industry."