Salvage and towage company Multraship, working with Antwerp-based URS Salvage & Maritime Contracting, has completed two salvage operations in the River Scheldt over a period of fewer than 24 hours.
The 12,600 dwt Egyptian multipurpose vessel Aburdees, loaded with general cargo, containers and cars enroute from Bremen to Antwerp, suffered an engine black-out at 1630hrs on December 6. It tried to drop anchor but began drifting in the Oostgat, near Vlissingen, and eventually started to ground in low water
Multraship and co-contractor URS, working under an LOF agreement, deployed the tugs Multrasalvor and Schouwenbank, but were unable to arrest the grounding. They were forced to wait for the next tide, whereupon the vessel was refloated, at around 0100 hrs on December 7, thanks to the efforts of five tugs. The Aburdees was then anchored at Flushing roads, where inspections – including Port State Control - got under way immediately. The salvors remain on standby, and it is not yet known when the vessel will be able to resume its voyage.
Meanwhile, the same two salvors came to the rescue of the 800 dwt Dutch inland navigation lighter Ru-San when the vessel grounded at approximately 19.00hrs on December 6 near the port entrance of Terneuzen East harbour on the River Scheldt. Multratug 16 refloated the vessel, which, although damaged and sinking, was successfully towed by Multratug 16 and the Zeeland into the port’s eastern harbour, where Multraship and URS installed pumps, and mobilised divers and a vessel to take off cargo.
The salvors worked all night to effect provisional repairs, to transfer cargo, and to get the vessel stable and keep it afloat. At around 1430hrs on December 7, permission was granted to tow the Ru-San through the Terneuzen-Ghent Canal
to a yard in Sluiskil, for further repair.