Salvage crews have removed the fuel from capsized lift boat Seacor Power in the US Gulf of Mexico
According to the US Coast Guard (USCG), teams working from lift boat Seacor Eagle removed around 92,500 litres of diesel fuel from Seacor Power, overturned in a hurricane-force squall at the end of April.
Salvors from Donjon-Smit and Phoenix International have worked on the project, 13 km off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, since the beginning of May. They used a hot tapping method to remove the fuel. This involves drilling into the fuel tanks, making a hose connection and transferring the fuel to portable tanks. Now the salvage team is preparing to raise Seacor Power from the seabed in June. Until then, they will focus on removing debris in preparation to refloat the vessel.
“The timeline for raising the vessel depends on many factors including primarily the safety of salvage crews, the weather, and addressing any new structural changes that may occur,” said USCG. “The priority is to salvage the vessel in a safe and efficient manner. Raising the vessel is not expected to occur before June.”
Around 20,450 litres of hydraulic fluid remains on Seacor Power, but that will need to stay on board until the vessel is raised as the tanks are currently inaccessible.
USCG said it would continue to monitor for any oil discharges and Seacor Marine has an oil spill response organisation standing by to respond to any situation.
The National Transportation Safety Board and USCG are investigating the accident which claimed the lives of 13 seafarers as only six of the 19 crew were rescued when Seacor Power capsized on 13 April.
Also in the US, salvage crews on the Golden Ray wreck removal project had to extinguish a fire in the past week. Fire-fighting teams controlled the fire inside the wreck on 14 May, and work to cut and remove the next section was postponed.
At least three tugs used their fire monitors to help dowse the fire and cool the structure in St Simons Sound, Georgia, on what is the longest-running wreck removal project in the US. Infrared cameras were used to assess the cooling and fire suppression operations around the wreck.
Response engineers started assessing the wreck and removal equipment on 16 May and heavy lift unit VB-10000 was unhooked from section three. It was moved away from Golden Ray to allow for continued damage assessments.
Wreck removal projects and salvage issues will be discussed in depth during Riviera Maritime Media’s ITS Salvage Webinar Week, 15-17 June 2021 - use this link for more details and to register for these webinars