The ‘Combinatie Salvage Tricolor’ has reporedt that the first cut of the Tricolor has been completed. This morning at 10.55 a.m the specially designed cutting wire sliced through the last centimetres, completing a cut exceeding 30 meters.
This cut was probably the most difficult cut of the entire cutting operation. This was due the fact that the wire had to go through parts of the engine room and the very thick propeller shaft.
At this stage the sheerlegs (floating cranes) ‘Asian Hercules
II’ and ‘Rambiz’ are being positioned alongside the first section. Later today and tomorrow they will be connected to this section. Weather permitting, the tandem-lift of this section will be executed during the course of the weekend.
The sheerlegs will place the section, weighing approximately 3000 tonnes, on top of the semi-submersible barge ‘Giant 4’.
The barge will transport the section to specially prepared sites in Zeebrugge where the cargo will be disposed. At those sites, any materials that may have a detrimental environmental impact will be removed. The cargo will then be dismantled and destroyed.
The TRICOLOR is a 1987 built Norwegian flagged vehicle carrier
, which, in the early hours of 14 December 2002, was struck by KARIBA, a 1982 built Bahamian flagged container ship, in the French Exclusive Economic Zone some 20 miles north of the French coast in the English Channel
. The TRICOLOR sank as a result of the impact of the collision and was eventually declared a total loss. In December 2002, French authorities ordered the wreck to be removed, as it was perceived to represent a danger to shipping and the environment.