Miko Marine of Norway reports that one of its magnetic patches has been used to seal a leak in the hull of the nuclear waste freighter ‘Puma’ and thus avoid a potentially serious environmental disaster. The Danish-flagged ship was in danger of sinking on 18 December when it experienced a leak in its engine room while sailing south along the coast of Norway following its delivery of 333 tons of spent nuclear fuel to Murmansk.
The ship appealed to the Norwegian Coastguard for help and was allowed to anchor west of the island of SÃ¸rÃ¸ya in the far north of Norway. An inspection by the Norwegian Coastal Administration vessel KV Farm revealed a burst valve on a pipe supplying sea water to the ship’s sanitation system. The crew was unable to stop the flow of water into the engine room until the leak was sealed by a magnetic patch provided by the KV Farm. The Miko patch is said to have immediately stopped the in-flow of water and enabled the Puma to be escorted to Hammerfest for permanent repair.
Packs of magnetic patches are carried aboard Norwegian Coastal Administration vessels so that they are available to make a repair with the minimum of delay. By re-ballasting the Puma it was possible to trim the ship to bring the leak above the water line. This enabled the patch to be applied without the use of divers and to be reinforced by powerful permanent magnets. After the 30 nautical mile open sea voyage to Hammerfest the patch was still found to be secure and maintaining the seal.
Miko points out that the low cost of the patch was in marked contrast to the cost of the disaster that could have followed if the ship had sunk. The potential for a major disaster has, according to the company, been noted by Norwegian environmental groups which are highlighting the severity of the disaster that would have occurred if the leak had happened a few days earlier when the magnetic patch might not have been available. Source : MARITIME PRESS CLIPPINGS