Fuel Removal from Capsized Vessel

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Salvage crews from international salvage company Resolve Marine Group, Inc. have begun recovery work on the iron ore carrying vessel Black Rose which sank last month in the Bay of Bengal, India.

Resolve’s team was awarded the tender by the Paradip Port Trust and will be pumping some 925 tonnes of fuel oil and 50 tonnes of diesel oil, as reported by officials, from the stricken ship which sank with the loss of one life 5km off the Paradip coastline on September 9. The accident spot is close to the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, one of the world’s few remaining nesting sites for the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles.

The Mongolian flagged vessel was carrying about 25,000 tonnes of iron ore fines as well as 975 tonnes of fuel oil & diesel oil, which is believed to be secure within a double bottom tank.

Resolve has dispatched a team of seven personnel to complete the task and will utilize local dive resources when possible. The team arrived last week and is already well underway as of this week. This team consists of a select group of salvage masters, engineers, and commercial divers who were chosen for their familiarity with this environmentally delicate project.

Furthermore, due to the environmentally sensitive nature of this project, the proximity to the nature preserve, and the highly flammable contents being removed, Resolve is doing everything in its power to assure that proper precautions are taken. The most environmentally friendly & proven techniques are being utilized and the pollutants will be removed in the most expeditious timeframe possible.

Resolve anticipates that the project will last approximately four to six weeks baring any unforeseen setbacks. Currently, the only variable Resolve can foresee as an issue is the weather in the area. There is a small window of relatively calm weather in which Resolve plans to complete this project. If there are any variations from the current forecasts or projections, Resolve will work diligently to assure its completion date is minimally altered.

Resolve’s project scope entails the removal of the fuel oil and diesel oil from the vessels tanks only. The capsized condition of the vessel and the remaining 25,000 tonnes of iron ore prevent the vessel from being refloated and will be treated as a wreck removal. The wreck removal will be a separate project that Resolve hopes to be tasked with given their familiarity with this project thus far.

Paradip Port Trust authorities chose Resolve to carry out this work because of the company’s “vast experience in salvaging fuel from sunken ships,” according to PPT chairman Mr. Raghuramiah.

Captain Farhat Imam, Chief Operations Officer for Resolve Marine Group, was quoted as saying,
“Given the sensitive nature of this undertaking, we want to make it noted that the Paradip Port Trust has been absolutely crucial in facilitating and expediting our efforts on this project and the cooperation, thus far, from local authorities has been excellent.”

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