Two major salvage projects will be required in environmentally sensitive areas after a tug with a barge, and a Capesize bulk carrier grounded
Tug TB Voyager 6 was towing a barge loaded with 9,000 tonnes of coal when it ran aground on the coast of Java, Indonesia. In strengthening winds, the tug’s crew were unable to keep on its planned course and tow the coal barge. Both were driven on to the coast of the Cilacap Regency in central south Java and became stuck.
Salvage tugs will be needed to remove TB Voyager 6 and the barge from the shore and tow them to a safe port for inspections and repair.
In the Indian Ocean, 203,000-dwt bulk carrier Wakashio struck a reef on the east coast of Mauritius on 25 July. This 2007-built, Japanese-owned and Panama-flagged ship was sailing from China to Brazil when it crashed into the island, despite coast guard warnings.
Local reports said it was travelling at around 11 knots in fair weather, but off the main trans-Indian Ocean shipping lane. It was sailing under ballast to load up its next cargo in Brazil, with around 3,800 tonnes of fuel on board.
Marine protection teams are on site to prevent a potential environmental disaster, close to the tourist destination of Blue Bay Marine Park. Booms have been placed around Nagashiki Shipping’s bulk carrier to prevent propagation of any oil spills from the fuel tanks.
According to the local coast guard, the master of the ship was contacted multiple times to alert him of the danger. A team from Smit Salvage is reportedly being prepared to refloat this ship and tow it to safety.
In the US, salvage operations on grounded roro Golden Ray have been halted due to a hurricane risk and an outbreak of Covid-19 among the emergency response team.
Plans to remove this wreck from outside the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, have been postponed until Q4 2020, bringing a pause to one of the most complex salvage projects in North America.
A unified command planned to cut the roro into sections, releasing the vehicles and fuel on board into an enclosed barriered area around the wreck. Then each section would be lifted and removed for disposal. This is delayed due to the risk of heavy weather and further outbreaks of coronavirus.
Salvage teams have also helped several grounded ships over the past week in other countries.
A fleet of tugs refloated a 2006-built Norway-flagged product tanker that had grounded in Colombia. Four tugs removed Nordic Wolverine from the coast outside Barranquilla on 30 July, and towed it to anchorage at Cano Dulce for inspection. It is likely the tanker will need repairs to the hull as it struck a rocky bottom when aground.
A tug was also required to assist a general cargo ship that encountered a propulsion problem in the Norwegian Sea. Tug Nautilus Balder towed damaged Randzel to the nearest port in Norway. This 2006-built and Gibraltar-flagged ship was en route from Russia to the UK when the crew lost propulsion and were unable to fix the engine control problem.
Also in Norway, coast guard vessels and tugs assisted Russian trawler Arctic Lion after it developed a heavy list on 28 July. This ship was berthed at Tromso to unload frozen fish when the portside list occurred, according to Fleetmon.
In Puerto Rico, the coast guard and a tug were sent to assist roro cargo ship Island Express after it reported an engineroom problem on 29 July. Search and rescue vessels assisted the cargo ship that had a broken pipe and water ingress in the engineroom. A tug then assisted Island Express to a safe berth in San Juan port for repairs.
Riviera is hosting a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on tug technology commencing 1 September. Register your interest now