Titan Salvage, now a part of Ardent following the merger of Titan and Svitzer Salvage, has completed the complex removal of the wreck of the cape-size MV Smart coal carrier in South Africa that ran aground two years ago.
This was especially challenging given weather conditions that prevail on the South African coast, particularly during the winter period.
“The removal of the vessel, which was entered in North P&I Club by owner Alpha Marine, has been accomplished on time and on budget due to a high level of collaboration with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Titan and North,” the Club said.
On August 19, 2013 the 151,279 DWT bulk carrier ran onto a sand bar shortly after setting sail from Richards Bay coal terminal in a 7 m Indian Ocean swell. It was carrying 147,650 to of coal, 1,769 t of fuel oil and 129 t of diesel.
All 23 crew members were rescued and, just a couple of days later, the 273 m long ship split into three parts.
Dutch salvor Smit Salvage, part of Boskalis Westminster, together with Smit Amandla Marine and South African salvor Subtech Group removed the fuel first, followed by 10,000 t of coal slurry in the ruptured no. 9 hold.
They then refloated the separated stern section and scuttled it offshore in October 2013.
Titan Salvage won the tendering process to perform the lightening, refloating and scuttling of the partially buried bow section. The bow section was refloated and scuttled in December 2014 and the remaining mid-section cut down and buried at the beginning of September 2015, with rehabilitation of the seabed completed immediately thereafter.
“The successful removal of this very large, high profile wreck highlights the benefits that flow from an open and early dialogue with the authorities responsible for managing a wreck site as well as all other stakeholders,” North’s deputy global claims director Mike Salthouse said.
Over USD 36 million was spent in South Africa during the two years of the salvage process.