Incident Photo of the Week – Horse Rescue

Mike Schuler
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December 29, 2009

TITAN Salvage has added a new highlight to their resume Рhorse rescue experts. The team recently extracted seven prized horses, 260 tons of heavy fuel oil, and more from a grounded 4,454-gross ton cargo vessel before refloating her in Ṣo Miguel, Azores, off the coast of Portugal.


The cargo vessel, which was in transit to Ponta Delgado when she ran aground Nov. 21 on the south coast of São Miguel, ran aground only 10 nautical miles from her destination.

Deployed to the scene was salvage master Stuart Miller along with an international team of 11 salvage specialists and two chartered planes loaded with salvage equipment.

Within two days of the grounding, TITAN was on scene assessing the situation and the vessel. The team discovered that three tanks and the engine room had been breached, and plans were made to both refloat the vessel and remove her sensitive cargo, including the seven horses.


The rescue operation was complex because the only way to get equipment onboard the ship was with tugboats, which had to get near the vessel amidst heavy winds and rough seas. Despite the harsh conditions, the horses were safely removed and taken safely to a local equestrian center. The team also discharged 59 containers and 260 tons of heavy fuel oil.

With the help of two local tugs and the ITC tug Mistral, the cargo vessel was successfully refloated from the rocky shores and safely delivered to the Port of Ponta Delgado, less than two weeks after the initial grounding.

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