April 23, 2009
Busy first quarter for Titan Salvage
With calmer springtime weather, Crowley Maritime's Titan Salvage has resumed wreck removal operations in Gibraltar on the New Flame following a busy first quarter in which the company successfully responded to eight salvage opportunities. Among them were the refloating of the bulk carrier Fedra's forward section in Gibraltar, the refloating of a general cargo vessel grounded on environmentally-sensitive coral reefs of southern Belize; and the safe delivery of a tank ship involved in a collision and fire off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The work done in the first three months of 2009 was illustrative of Titan's diverse technical expertise and worldwide service capabilities, said Dan Schwall, Titan's managing director.
As Titan personnel were preparing to suspend operations for the winter on the New Flame wreck removal in Gibraltar in late 2008, they were called upon to assist in the cliff-top rescue of crewmembers from the bulk carrier Fedra, which had run aground during an unprecedented storm and was pinned to the base of a cliff just below the Europa Point lighthouse. All crewmembers were saved and TITAN was later contracted to remove the forward section of the wreck and accommodation unit. On New Year's Day, after weeks of working on the Fedra and removing the vessel's accommodations unit, the TITAN team successfully re-floated the forward section from her wrecked position at Europa Point. The section was then towed to an area near the entrance of the Port of Gibraltar, where extensive diving operations were conducted by TITAN to remove hanging debris from the vessel, which reduced the draft and enabled the successful delivery of the vessel into the Port of Gibraltar for scrapping and recycling.
About two weeks later, the loaded general cargo vessel Westerhaven ran aground on the coral reefs of southern Belize while en route from Belize to Puerto Cortez, Honduras. TITAN immediately dispatched Crowley's powerful tug Mariner from Lake Charles, La. to the incident scene where it was used by contracted salvors to successfully re-float the ship.
Titan teams around the world continued their international salvage and rescue efforts in February. Under Lloyd's Open Form (LOF) terms Titan responded to and helped free a fully laden tanker grounded in the Gulf of Mexico. Also during the month, the company assisted with the re-floating of the guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal, which had run aground just outside of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and successfully completed two separate high seas ship rescues in both the North Atlantic and in the mid-Pacific, near Guam.
Last month, another TITAN team found themselves off the coast of Dubai responding on LOF terms to the collision and fire of the tank ship Kashmir. Working closely with local operators Mubarak Marine, the Kashmir was re-delivered safely to owners on March 23.
"Our team of engineers and salvage specialists has displayed a high level of expertise and professionalism in responding to a variety of salvage and wreck removal operations around the world in the first quarter," said Schwall. "Our people are known for providing Response and Results, and they stepped up to deliver solutions in challenging and time-sensitive situations."
This month, New Flame wreck removal operations reconvened following the winter shutdown period. The second phase of the operation will primarily involve diving and rigging operations, using Crowley's barge 408 and tug Warrior, to prepare the stern section and engine room of the submerged wreck so that it can be lifted by a heavy lift vessel and delivered to a landing area in the Port of Gibraltar for scrapping and recycling.
Titan, a wholly owned Crowley subsidiary, is a worldwide salvage company based in Pompano Beach, Fla. The company also has offices and equipment depots in Newhaven, UK and Singapore. Over the past 28 years, TITAN has performed more than 300 salvage and wreck removal projects worldwide.