Smit Provides Salvage Assistance

Friday, June 14, 2002
During May, SMIT Salvage dealt with casualties in Japanese waters and in the Red Sea. On May 1, the 260,619 dwt tanker Front Tobago was making for Japan when her main engine failed while proceeding off the Ryuku Islands, Japan. This 1993-built VLCC was carrying 240,00 tons of crude. An inspection revealed that the tanker’s crankshaft was damaged. The owners awarded SMIT a contract on May 2. The SmitWijs Singapore was mobilized to tow the Front Tobago to an anchorage outside the Economic Exclusion Zone, off Taiwan. On arrival, the cargo was discharged by ship-to-ship transfer. SMIT then mobilized the tug De Yue to tow the vessel from Taiwan to Singapore. The vessel arrived on May 23. During April, SMIT responded to a bulk carrier that had run aground in the approaches to Gizan, Saudi Arabia. The accident occurred on April 22, when the 45,877 dwt. Ince Express was en route from Gizan to Valencia, Iaden with 39,000 tons of clinker. SMIT in association with Omur Salvage, responded under a Lloyd’s Open Form contract. A 100-ton bollard pull tug, an offloading vessel and grabs were assembled to refloat the 1985-built bulk carrier. On arrival at location, the team secured the ship. Following an inspection, it was decided that a part-discharge of the cargo was necessary. When the ship was stabilized, the cargo removal operation commenced. Grabs were fitted to the cranes on board the Ince Express. The offloading vessel Tamer Kiran was moored alongside the Ince Express to receive part of the clinker cargo. Some 4,000 tons was discharged and, on May 11, a tug connected up to the Ince Express and pulled her free. During May SMIT also provided emergency assistance when a fishing vessel collided with an offshore platform in the Rough Field, 24 miles north of the mouth of the Humber. The fishing vessel Marbella collided with the platform, owned by Dynegy Storage, on May 9. Four days later, SMIT was awarded a contract and mobilized a salvage master, the Diving Support Vessel (DSV) Union Beaver and diving and burning/welding equipment. On arrival at the scene, the Salvage Master inspected the platform. This revealed that the 12-tonne bumper, placed to protect the platform was damaged. A plan was devised to remove the bumper. The Union Beaver performed this task, after connecting up to the jacket in a four-point mooring pattern. The bumpers will be replaced in due course. During March a SMIT team visited Dubai port following a collision involving a harbor tug. The 239 dwt Shadeed sunk close to the quay on March 17. SMIT was contracted by Dubai Port Authority and mobilized diving, pumping, patching and oil removal equipment. Following a diving inspection, the salvage team worked fast to remove the tug’s bunkers to prevent pollution. Patching was undertaken and water was pumped from the engineroom and accommodation block to road tankers on the quay. A land crane parbuckling system were used to raise the casualty. It was refloated on March 23.

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