The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) renewed its service agreement with Miko Marine for the emergency provision of magnetic and fabric patches for damaged vessels. Under the new 2013 agreement, Oslo-based Miko Marine undertakes to provide 24-hour technical support for the use of the company’s unique range of patches and for their provision whenever necessary.
Salvage and Tanker Kits of Miko magnetic patches are now carried aboard all principal NCA vessels following the organization’s decision to extend their carriage to all five of its Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs). The agreement ensures that patches are available for making emergency repairs to vessels with damage or hull integrity problems that may have been caused by collision or grounding or by defective valves and seals. The contract also includes an agreement for Miko Marine to provide emergency supervisory technical support in their use when and wherever required.
The Administration’s decision to renew its agreement with Miko was reinforced by several incidents where Miko expertise and products prevented the loss of vessels in Norwegian waters; notably, a nuclear fuel carrier that was at risk of sinking off the coast of Norway in December 2010.
The Puma experienced a leak in its engine room while sailing south along the coast of Norway following its delivery of a cargo of spent nuclear fuel to Murmansk. The crew was unable to stop the flow of water into the engine room from a burst valve on a pipe supplying sea water to the ship’s sanitation system. The leak was, however, sealed by a magnetic patch provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration vessel KV Farm. It immediately stopped the in-flow of water and enabled the Puma to be escorted to Hammerfest for permanent repair.
Another major incident was narrowly avoided after a collision between two trawlers in the Arctic north of Norway. The Hundvåkøy was returning to port when it struck the Hordafor Four and sustained major hull damage. The engine room flooded but the master successfully grounded his boat to prevent the total loss of the vessel and its cargo.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration immediately sealed the large hole in the hull with a Miko magnetic patch. Both of the Coastal Administration vessels attending the incident were carrying a Miko Salvage Kit which also included a six by two metre “hat shaped” fabric patch which was also used to cover irregular protruding damage that would otherwise inhibit the adhesion of a magnetic patch. As a result virtually all of the boat’s catch was saved and the engine room was pumped dry. This enabled the Hundvåkøy to be refloated and towed some 15 nm to the NATO quay at Sørreisa for more permanent repairs.
The patch chosen for the repair was manufactured from a high strength fabric that combines polyester reinforced PVC with aramid. It is described as “hat-shaped” due to its design as a shallow bag with a brim that is held securely against the hull beneath flexible aluminium strips that are fixed by divers using an HD 200 underwater stapling tool. The bag-like capacity of the patch enables it to cover any irregular tearing of the hull while the brim ensures a strong and watertight seal.
Miko patches can be supplied individually to order or carried in packs that contain a variety of sizes. Salvage Kits and Tanker Kits each contain a range of patches that can provide temporary watertight repairs to hull damage caused by collision, corrosion or some other technical defect. They can also be used to seal damaged tanks to prevent oil escaping. The largest Miko fabric patch made to date measured 30 metres x 15 metres. Magnetic patches can also be used to seal thruster tunnels and sea chests so that work can be conducted inside without the expense required to put the vessel in dry dock.