In August of last year, the bulk carrier M/V Ocean Breeze found itself being absolutely pummeled by huge surf on a Chilean beach approximately 1.5 miles south of the Port of San Antonio, after one or both of its anchors apparently broke free.
10 months later, TITAN Salvage and T&T Salvage have reported that the removal of the wreck is complete, but it was no simple task as TITAN describes in an emailed statement:
Nearly 300 meters from the high-water mark, while carrying more than 34,000 tons of grain cargo, TITAN and T&T Salvage were contracted after the failed attempts of previous salvors led to a constructive total loss of the vessel. The only access to the casualty was from a narrow beach 300 meters away, across a constantly shifting seabed. As the project progressed over the course of five months, the mouth of a nearby river shifted so much that the salvors’ equipment staging point became completely inundated with water and had to be relocated.
Showcasing the team’s ingenuity even further, the TITAN-T&T duo designed and fabricated a shallow-draft, flat-deck barge – the pneumatic pontoon system – to transport heavy equipment between the shipwreck and the beach, as well as assist in the discharge of the grain.
In April, after approximately five months of extremely difficult work, the vessel was deballasted using T&T’s high-capacity pumping units, pulled from the beach and successfully refloated. The vessel was then cleaned, and safely scuttled, in Chilean waters at a position designated by the local maritime authorities, approximately 40 miles offshore.
“The challenges to the salvage teams attempting projects of this kind all around the world are widely varied and can be extremely daunting,” said TITAN’s Gordon Amos, manager of the project. “It is always worth remembering that successful marine salvage and wreck removal – the end product of all our efforts – does not take place on a computer screen, or spread sheet or at a conference table. It is carried on by teams of trained and dedicated people doing heavy, sometimes dangerous, demanding tasks for long hours in the dark and the cold and the wet without complaining.”
“It is all about the salvors,” said TITAN’s Rich Habib, Managing Director, “The combined TITAN-T&T salvage team, along with the captain and crew of the Rhea, did a tremendous job overcoming adversity and completed the removal of this significant wreck with minimal environmental impact as opposed to causeways and dredging suggested by other salvors.”
“The success achieved by the TITAN-T&T Salvage team has clearly shown that professional salvage companies can cooperate efficiently and deliver results beyond expectations of all stakeholders. We hope other Salvors follow the example we have set,” stated President Mauricio Garrido, T&T Salvage.
The work done by the 50-person TITAN-T&T Salvage team was accomplished within the established schedule and contract price, as well as to the full satisfaction of the local authorities.
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