Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Titan Join Local Experts To Salvage Stranded Bulk Carrier

Vessel Left High and Dry After Tsunami
Shipping News Feature

CHILE – Titan Salvage, a subsidiary of Crowley, the US marine services and logistics group, have joined with Santiago based local experts Remolcadores Ultratug to safely re-float the MV Laurel, a 26,800-deadweight-ton bulk carrier, which was in a dry dock undergoing routine maintenance in Talcahuano, Chile on the 28th February when an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country.

The quake generated two tsunamis, which lifted the M/V Laurel up and out of the dock, thrusting it forward onto the pier bulkhead. The ship's engine and steering rooms, as well as its No. 5 cargo hold, flooded because the vessel's sea valves and manholes were open.

Operatives from the two companies worked together to patch the hull, discharge the remaining heavy fuel oil and shift some ballast to obtain the correct trim. The team also fabricated a custom built 17-ton jacking plate on site and placed it under the bow, along with four, 14-meter rubber air bags to serve as jacks when inflated.

With several hundred tons of forward drag, the Laurel's bow had to be lifted off the dry dock wall and the vessel gently eased back into the water utilising Ultratug's vessels. Remarkably the Laurel, the dry dock and a 380-ton caisson door, which was precariously positioned beneath the Laurel's bow, suffered no damages.