and salvage company Multraship prevented a major casualty by refloating the bulk carrier Sibotura just hours after it ran aground in the busy Scheldt
"Sibotura grounded on a hard solid bank in the middle of a narrow passage in
the Scheldt," says Leendert Muller, director of Multraship. "Unfortunately
the vessel grounded at a particularly high tide but, due to the quick
response of Multraship's salvage team, a major casualty was avoided. The
quick action of the salvage team enabled the vessel to be refloated before
the receding water dropped below the crucial level."
Sibotura, a 229 metre long 74,928 DWT bulk carrier, grounded in the River
Scheldt at 17.30 local time on Friday 21 February 2003. The vessel was laden
with 60,000 tonnes of coking coal.
Following the grounding, salvage tugs from Multraship and URS Salvage &
Maritime Contracting, on constant stand-by in the Scheldt, proceeded
immediately to the location which was in the vicinity of buoy 49. In the
meantime Multraship dispatched a salvage team using Multraship's rescue and
communication vessel Patrol.
After the salvage team's initial check to ensure no ingress of water,
Multraship's salvage tugs, along with those from URS, hauled Sibotura off
the bank at 18.40 local time. The vessel was then safely anchored. Sibotura
was released after a dive inspection team revealed no damage.
"With the tide falling all the time it was a real challenge to refloat the
vessel quickly enough," says Muller. "Sibotura ran aground in a particularly
narrow passage of the Scheldt and the tide was extremely high when the
vessel grounded. The incident had the potential to cause many problems. We
are very pleased to have successfully prevented a major casualty in the