SMIT Completes Salvage of Tanker in Lagoon

Thursday, August 29, 2002
SMIT Salvage has successfully completed the salvage of the tanker Irina 2. This 15,063 gt vessel ran aground 40 miles off Oro Bay, Papua New Guinea, on July 29 after departing Kimbe with a cargo of palm crude. This casualty was one of three groundings SMIT responded to in August. The Irina 2 grounded in a lagoon. SMIT, working under a Lloyd's Open Form agreement, mobilised salvage personnel and equipment and two tugs - one of which connected up to the casualty. On August 3, the 1983-built vessel was pulled free and towed to a nearby deeper anchorage within the lagoon. The salvage team then investigated an exit route. A small tug was used to survey the area, as the lagoon contained numerous shallow areas and unmarked reefs. A channel was then identified and the vessel was towed out of the lagoon on August 12 to an anchorage. This salvage operation was particularly challenging as the lagoon was extremely shallow and the weather was adverse, with winds reaching Force 7. On August 18, divers commenced patching work and the vessel is now waiting to continue her journey. SMIT went to the assistance of a second grounded vessel when the 1980-built general cargo carrier Mingo, laden with petcoke, suffered steering problems. This 2,693 gt vessel was nearing the end of a voyage to Rotterdam, from Mongstad, Denmark, when she collided with two piers near Botlek on August 2 and, subsequently, ran aground. The Mingo suffered damage to both her port and starboard side and quickly developed a 35 deg. list. SMIT was awarded an LOF contract, in association with tug operator Kotug, on August 3 and mobilised three tugs, a salvage vessel and the floating sheerlegs Taklift 7. Following inspection by the Salvage Master, the priority was to use the tugs to maneuver the Mingo against the bank, to prevent her sinking. Taklift 7 was then connected up to the casualty's stern to secure the stability of the vessel while part of the Mingo's cargo was removed. She was refloated on August 4 and redelivered to a dry dock in Rotterdam. In the Bahamas, SMIT Salvage, in association with Nippon Salvage, responded to a general cargo vessel that had run aground. The 1996-built Balsa 56, laden with feldspar and calcium carbonate, grounded off Ocean Bay on August 8. Two local SMIT tugs, together with a salvage team from Houston were mobilised to pull the vessel free and she was refloated on August 11. In a further operation, SMIT performed a rescue tow off Taiwan. The VLCC Orpheus Asia reported engine difficulties during Force 7-8 winds at the end of July. The 1990-built tanker was en route to Japan from Saudi Arabia, laden with 255,000 tonnes of crude oil. SMIT responded and mobilized the large salvage tug De Yue and the anchorhandling tug supply vessel De Peng. On August 8, the four-day cargo transfer operation commenced off Hong Kong. Orpheus Asia was then towed by De Yue, with the De Peng acting as an escort, to Singapore for repairs.
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