The world's largest submersible lift ship arrived in Portland Harbor today at 10:00 a.m. where it docked at the International Marine Terminal. Measuring 712 ft. (217 m), the vessel is owned by Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT) of Lysaker, Norway.
Viktor Lenac Shipyard in Rijekak, Croatia has chartered the vessel to lift and carry the 50-year-old 844-ft. (257.2 m) dry dock, used by the Bath Iron Works (Portland) Ship Repair Facility. The Croatian yard purchased the dry dock from the State of Maine for $3 million earlier this month. It is scheduled for renovations for eventual use in the Croatian shipbuilding and repair industry.
During the first week of May, the dry dock is scheduled to be moved to the Maine State Pier and divided into two sections. Blue Marlin will submerge itself and one section of the dock will be floated over the vessel, at which time Blue Marlin will then re-surface; workers will lash the dry dock down and sail for Europe.
Due to the size and weight of the dry dock sections, Blue Marlin or its sistership Black Marlin will have to return to Portland to lift the second section later in the month.
Blue Marlin is best known as the vessel used to transport USS Cole back to the U.S. after being heavily damaged in a terrorist attack in the port of Aden last year
. USS Cole returned
to its original builder, Litton Ingalls, on the Blue Marlin's deck this past December where it is currently undergoing repair and restoration work.