Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TITAN Salvage Divers Detoxify Sunken Container Ship In Caribbean

230 Tonnes of Fuel Extracted from Wreck
Shipping News Feature

WEST INDIES – TITAN Salvage, a Crowley logistics group company operating out of the US, UK and Singapore, have successfully removed 230 tons of fuel from a submerged vessel off the southern coast of Saint Lucia. The 6,704-gross-ton fully cellular containership (657-TEU capacity), which was en route to Guyana in late February, capsized and sank in 105 feet of water about two miles from the port Vieux-Fort. No lives were lost in the incident. TITAN was contracted by vessel owners to remove the hydrocarbons and other hazardous materials onboard.

TITAN, headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida, have performed over 350 salvage and wreck removal projects since 1980, including some of the most technically demanding projects ever undertaken. During this latest project TITAN worked closely with Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), and local contractors to safely complete the fuel removal operation mitigating the risk of an environmental incident.

The removal of fuel and other contaminants onboard the vessel was performed by a team of seven TITAN divers working from a supply vessel moored over the casualty. The vessel functioned as dive platform as well as place to receive and store the contaminated bunker fuel. While divers worked in near perfect visibility in turquoise Caribbean waters, they regularly encountered rough seas and strong currents.

Despite the idyllic setting and the environmentally admirable nature of the task it should be remembered that the work undertaken by the divers of companies like TITAN is some of the most hazardous native to the shipping industry. Incidents like the Deepwater Horizon keep the public eye firmly on environmental marine disasters of this nature and, despite the double hulls mandatory on at risk vessels such incidents will always be with us.

Photo:- A previous TITAN contract. No photo’s of the current contract were available as all work was undertaken at depth.