Multraship to Salvage Toxic Containers

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Netherlands-based salvage, towage and wreck removal group Multraship Towage & Salvage has been awarded the salvage contract for the recovery of three containers loaded with 630 drums of pesticides and wood preservatives containing arsenic pentoxide (Class 6), laden in palletised steel drums. These were lost overboard from the Ethiopian vessel Andinet on December 21, 2003, twenty miles north of the Dutch coast, off Texel in the North Sea. The Steamship Mutual P&I club awarded the contract on behalf of the vessel's owners immediately after the containers were traced. "There is naturally a great deal of concern here in Holland about the toxic nature of this cargo," says Leendert Muller, managing director of Multraship. "We have the right equipment and expertise to remove it safely from the seabed and take it ashore for safe disposal." The multi-role salvage vessel Multraship Commander and the sheerlegs Cormorant have been mobilised from Terneuzen. They arrived on scene on Saturday January 3 but winds of force 7 meant conditions were too bad to allow ROV inspection and diving work to be carried out. Both vessels are now waiting in the nearby port of Den Helder until the weather improves. After inspection the containers will be turned upright and connected with container slings by fully protected divers. One after the other, the containers will be lifted by the sheerlegs Cormorant and placed in watertight and oversized container flats that are located on the aft deck of the Multraship Commander. Two chemical experts will be onboard throughout the operation for safety purposes. The Dutch Department of Transport (Rijkswaterstaat) will coordinate traffic around the work with patrol vessel Terschelling. The survey vessel Zirfaea will monitor the water quality to see if there's any leakage/contamination. Under normal circumstances and weather permitting the operation will take about three to four days. * Multraship is a leading independent Dutch towage and salvage company. Run by the Muller family, it draws on more than 85 years of experience. Multraship's core operations include salvage, wreck removal, harbour towage, sea and river towage, services to the dredging and offshore industries and support for inland navigation. It operates and manages a fleet of 26 tugs, salvage vessels, floating sheerlegs and other craft equipped with modern towage, salvage and fire-fighting equipment and manned by experienced and highly-trained masters and crew.

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