Planning has started to recover a sunken drilling rig and a submarine in southeast Asia, while a rescue vessel assisted a tanker off northern France
Velesto Energy has started planning salvage operations after its jack-up drilling rig Naga 7 tilted and sank off Malaysia on 4 May 2021. In a statement, the Malaysia-headquartered rig owner said Naga 7 started tilting while operating at the Salam-3 well off the coast of Sarawak for ConocoPhillips due to rapid penetration of a soft seabed on 3 May 2021.
All 101 personnel on board the damaged rig were safely transferred to rescue vessels immediately after the incident and reached Miri, Sarawak, on 5 May.
In March, Velesto was contracted by ConocoPhillips to provide jack-up services at the Salam field. Drilling activities had not commenced at the time of incident.
“All the relevant authorities have been duly informed and we are currently monitoring the incident location for any potential adverse impact,” said Velesto. “We are investigating the incident and evaluating recovery options. While the rig is covered by insurance, potential recovery efforts are ongoing and being monitored,” the rig owner said.
Naga 7 was built in 2015 by China Merchants Heavy Ind (Shenzhen) Co in China to a GustoMSC-CJ46-X100D design. Velesto operates six other jack-up rigs and four hydraulic workover units.
Also in southeast Asia, Chinese and Singaporean rescue vessels and salvors are working to locate and raise the wreck of the submarine KRI Nanggala, which disappeared off Indonesia on 21 April. Submarine rescue vessel Swift Rescue located the sunken and wrecked Nanggala on 25 April in the Lombok Strait, between the islands of Bali and Lombok. Indonesia has accepted an offer from Chinese naval forces to assist in recovering the submarine from water depths of more than 800 m. At least three Chinese salvage and sub rescue vessels were mobilised to the wreck site.
In Singapore, a salvage company has been assigned to assist a container ship that has been listing since mid-April. Container ship Lima Valerie suffered stability loss and developed a heavy list at the Pasir Panjang Terminal, berth 2 on 15 April. It has remained moored at this berth since, according to Fleetmon.
In Europe, two ships collided and a tanker broke its moorings during a tow.
A tanker and an LNG carrier bumped into each other off the coast of Spain on 1 May. According to the Spanish transport ministry, these two ships collided around 4 km from the cargo and fishing port of Huelva, located off the Spanish southwestern coast as LNG carrier Bilbao Knutsen was leaving the port and tanker STI Pimlico was entering the port. The accident did not cause any damage to the crew members nor has it caused any risk of pollution. After inspecting the ships, Huelva Maritime Authority found both ships suffered only minor damage.
Off northern France, unmanned tanker Varzuga broke loose from its towline in storms resulting in a French rescue vessel being mobilised. Oceangoing tug Christos XXIV was towing the tanker from Murmansk, Russia to Aliaga, Turkey for demolition and recycling when the incident occurred on 4 May off Cherbourg, France. When Varzuga broke from its towline, French vessel Abeille Liberte and tug Mustang were mobilised. They then towed Varzuga inshore, west of Le Havre to fix the problems and enable Christos XXIV to resume its tow to Turkey.
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