Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Salvage Operation Oversees Record Breaking Voyage Across Northwest Passage

Emergency Team Can React Before Company's Traditional Role Becomes Necessary
Shipping News Feature
US – An unusual partnership has come to fruition due to an original voyage for a cruise vessel the size of the 250 metre long Crystal Serenity which is undertaking the first trip for such a ship along the Northwest Passage. Ardent, the company formed when US based Titan Salvage and Danish Svitzer Salvage joined forces last year, is supplying the vessels operator, Crystal Cruises, with support as the liner carries its record-breaking 1070 passengers, and 655 crew members on a voyage from Anchorage to New York City.

Ardent’s Global Preparedness Cover team are on 24-hour response for the cruise ship’s journey and any amount of resources has been put in place in preparation for emergencies. Crossing the top of the world in those waters, which were historically ice bound for large parts of the year, carries a unique set of hazards. The 69,000 tonne Crystal Serenity is due to arrive in New York on September 15 after the 32 day voyage and Ardent response capabilities consist of experienced professionals and teams supported by a network of tugs, barges, logistics, and emergency response, and dive capabilities. Oliver Timofei, Ardent’s Director Emergency Management commented:

“Ardent has been on the forefront of provide emergency preparedness services to its marine industry for many years, and this goes hand in hand in being prepared to respond in all regions in the world including the Arctic.”

One of the principal dangers for a vessel of such a size is the uncertainty of depths in some parts of the Passage and Ardent Operations Director Shelby Harris explained that the company was continuously developing its response capability in the Arctic region drawing on the combined experience of staff schooled by both the Svitzer and Crowley Maritime groups from which they transferred. The company offers cruise operators two specifically designed programmes, GPC and OPA-90, which provide emergency response and salvage plans.

The company is no stranger to cruise vessels needing assistance having already responded to one of its OPA-90 preparedness program vessels, the Caribbean Fantasy, when it caught on fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico this month, and has the experience of staff who attended to the largest maritime salvage job in history, the Costa Concordia, the cruise liner that struck the rocky coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy in 2012.