Resolve Salvage & Fire (Americas), Inc. Removes Container Vessel Wreck from Fort Vieux Shipping Lane, St. Lucia.
Following an agreement between St.Lucia Air & Seaports Authority and RESOLVE Salvage & Fire (Americas), Inc., RESOLVE refloated the sunken container vessel ANGELN on September 14 and then scuttled the vessel at a deep water reefing site. The 435 ft loaded container ship sank in January 2010 at a depth of 110 feet in the shipping lane three miles outside Vieux Fort, St. Lucia. The wreck sank on its starboard side and spilled its topside load of containers adjacent the wreck.
RESOLVE mobilized a team of salvage professionals and owned equipment including the salvage vessel RESOLVE PIONEER, the tugs RESOLVE SUHAILI and LANA ROSE, and the crane barge RMG 400. The complex operation required clearing the debris field surrounding the wreck including lifting clear the deck house to enable the vessel to be parbuckled upside down. Air fittings and air lines were established to all intact compartments and a refined engineering plan was followed to press air to the ship to complete the initial roll upside down. The hull was then systematically raised to the surface by further blowing of air into tanks and other compartments. Following refloating, the vessel was stabilized and then towed and scuttled in deeper water. Throughout the operation, RESOLVE monitored the wreck site for oil leakage and also removed and recovered containers containing oil.
The environmental conditions at the wreck site posed significant challenges for the salvage team. Very strong ocean currents over three knots were common, as were ocean swells, tropical weather and multiple tropical storms that impacted the project site. RESOLVE Salvage Master Todd Schauer said, “Raising a 4000-ton ship from 110 feet of water in difficult offshore conditions was an extraordinary challenge. It was a privilege to work with a world class salvage team that delivered success on this project.”