The wreck of the car carrier Baltic Ace, which sank off the Dutch coast on December 5, 2012, was removed from the seabed of one of the busiest shipping lanes which provides access to the Port of Rotterdam by the end of October of 2015.
The video above shows the highlights of the process which started in April of 2014 by removing some 460,000 liters of fuel oil from the wreck.
After the oil removal, the wreck was inspected by divers who found that the wreck could not be removed in six sections as originally planned because it was severely damaged. In the winter of 2014 salvage plans were changed, and it was decided that the wreck would be split into eight pieces before being removed.
In April 2015, the salvage operations started, as the cutting process was initiated with cutting wires.
The second phase of the project consisted of the removal and controlled dismantling of the entire wreck and its cargo, with the last large sections of the vessel being removed in late August of 2015.
The seabed was later checked and the debris was cleaned.
This project involved 18 vessels and some 150 people. More than 1,000 dives were performed during the process and around 13,000 tonnes of steel was recovered from the seabed.
Baltic Ace sank with more than 1,400 cars on board after it collided with a containership near the entrance of the main shipping lane to Rotterdam port.
Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Rijkswaterstaat) contracted Boskalis and its partner Mammoet Salvage for the wreck removal operation.
World Maritime News Staff, Video: SMIT Salvage