Oil Recovery Project Makes Progress

Friday, August 02, 2002
The U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and Titan Maritime, Inc. continue their steady progress on the assessment and oil removal operations from the sunken 468 ft. cargo ship S.S. Jacob Luckenbach , which sank 50 years ago, 17 miles West of San Francisco. Despite the challenges and risks involved with the operation, the responders have identified 26 tanks and spaces on the wreck containing about 132,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil. To date, about 12,000 gallons of oil have been recovered. During the assessment, many fuel tanks were found to have badly corroded vent pipes which allowed oil to slowly leak into the cargo holds. These vents are the primary sources of the pollution that has contaminated shorelines and sea birds over the last few years. Most of the leaking fuel vents have been sealed, but the process in ongoing. Operations in the forward cargo holds have been especially challenging. Inaccurate ship drawings and piles of cargo have complicated the search for vents in the holds. The 50-year-old cargo has corroded and fused together, forcing divers to chisel through solid walls of material to tunnel access ways to the vents. The piles of cargo create safety concerns for the divers due to its instability. Because of these concerns and a host of other potentially dangerous circumstances, divers and their support teams must be especially cautious. The recovery team has also had to overcome many challenges (see fact sheet), including; diving in 175 feet of water, 45 degree sea temperatures, poor underwater visibility, and strong bottom currents. With the assessment and vent sealing phase nearly completed, the responders are using various techniques to remove the oil from the tanks. The oil at 50 degrees is like peanut butter in thickness and is very difficult to pump to the surface. Divers are inserting heat exchangers and injecting steam into the oil to raise the oil’s temperature enough to pump. The responders are making good progress refining these techniques or developing new, innovative ways to remove as much oil as possible. The Coast Guard, OSPR and Titan Maritime will remain on scene for about six more weeks to eliminate the environmental risks posed by the shipwreck. The team remains focused on removing as much oil as possible from the shipwreck to minimize any further shoreline pollution and risk to wildlife and the sensitive marine environment of the National Marine Sanctuary.
Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

USCG Galveston Unit Change of Command

A change-of-command ceremony will be held Thursday morning, July 24, to see a Coast Guard lieutenant commander and graduate of Houston's Alief Hastings High School, Lt.

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Statoil, Repsol, ExxonMobil Win Colombian Offshore License

Statoil announced today that it has been awarded interest in the COL4 license offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea in the 2014 Colombia Licensing Round, along with Respol and ExxonMobil.

Environmental

AIS Data for Emissions Reduction

With emissions reduction firmly on the industry’s agenda, studies show that carrying out ship emission calculations, based on AIS data, can offer significant benefits.

USCG to Assist Jamaica with MRO

Jamaica’s readiness for Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) in its maritime space will be boosted July 22-24, 2014 with the assistance of a subject matter expert from the U.

Thai Resort Owners Sue State Owned Company for Oil Spill

Business owners on Koh Samet island are suing a state-owned petroleum enterprise for the oil spill that polluted the resort island's beaches last year. More than 50,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1270 sec (8 req/sec)