Donjon-SMIT, LLC, An OPA-90 Alliance
, performed a salvage operation on the Hurricane Katrina ravaged Mississippi River
in New Orleans, LA.
The Chios Beauty, a bulk carrier, ran hard aground at Mile Marker 93.2 while in ballast. The vessel grounded on August 29 after breaking free from the Praline Dock as a result of hurricane force winds. The vessel was reported to be intact with a total of 21 crewmembers and one passenger aboard at the time according to the U.S. Coast Guard
. During an initial refloating effort, a local pilot boarded the casualty and attempted to pull the Chios Beauty afloat with five tugs, but was unsuccessful. Owners then quickly contracted Donjon-SMIT to respond.
Donjon-SMIT mobilized a Salvage Master and a four-man salvage team to the scene by tug from Sabine Pass given the transportation difficulties in the New Orleans area to determine the extent of the grounding and the necessary assets required to remove her.
After conducting a survey, preparing and having its salvage plan approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, Donjon-SMIT discharged the remaining water ballast and utilized two tugs to effect the refloating. The Chios Beauty was refloated on September 3 by a combination of controlled bottom scouring from a tug’s propeller wash and pulling until the vessel broke free.