The bow of the sunken freighter Flinterstar that sank in October 2015 off the coast of Zeebrugge was successfully lifted from the sea after ten weeks of preparation, DEME Group said.
In April this year, Dutch shipping company Flinterstar III BV, the owner of the 9,000 dwt vessel that sank after colliding with an LNG tanker, signed a contract with a consortium of Belgian salvage companies headed by SCALDIS, a joint venture of DEME, Jan De Nul and Herbosch-Kiere, to remove the wreck.
“Removing the cargo from the hold was the first step, whilst in parallel lifting chains were attached to the bow section of the Flinterstar. On 27 June 2016, all preparatory operations were finished and the lifting commenced,” Marc Voorhuis, Director at Scaldis, said.
Due to the fact that the water in hold needed to be pumped out, the lifting activities were progressing slowly, according to Voorhuis.
After the water was removed, the bow was placed on a pontoon ready for transport.
“Following sea fastening of the bow section, the pontoon will be towed to Ghent to be recycled”.
The Flinterstar’s stern is to be lifted and removed in August 2016.
In January 2016, the Belgian authorities ordered the company to remove the wreck, as it was perceived to present a potential danger to shipping and the environment.