Titan Salvage, Crowley Maritime’s Houston-based marine salvage, emergency response and wreck removal company, has successfully refloated and scuttled the bow of the wrecked bulk carrier Smart.
The vessel was carrying a load of coal when it went aground in August 2013 in heavy seas in Richards Bay, South Africa. Complications ensued when the carrier broke apart after only two days.
The Titan team refloated, towed and scuttled the bow into designated waters, as approved by the South African Maritime Safety Authority, in three days.
“It was a difficult job because there were so many unknowns,” said Titan’s Gordon Amos, director operations. “From the very beginning, we had to accurately assess the weight of the bow to determine the lightering process and appropriate pulling forces. This was complicated by the fact that we didn’t know how much mud and cargo filled the forward compartments. Additionally, we were battling five-meter swells and challenging weather conditions.”
Titan is now preparing for the removal of the Smart’s remaining mid-section. This final stage of work is expected to be completed in the beginning of next year.