September 12, 2006
Donjon-Smit refloats bulker grounded by Katrina
Donjon-SMIT, LLC, an OPA-90 Alliance, has completed a salvage operation on a bulker grounded by Hurricane Katrina..
The Chios Beauty, a bulk carrier, ran hard aground at Mississippi Mile Marker 93.2 while in ballast. The vessel grounded on August 29 after breaking free from the Praline Dock as a result of hurricane force winds. The vessel was reported to be intact with a total of 21 crewmembers and one passenger aboard at the time, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. During an initial refloating effort, a local pilot boarded the casualty and attempted to pull the Chios Beauty afloat with five tugs, but was unsuccessful. Owners then quickly contracted Donjon-SMIT to respond.
Given the transportation difficulties in the New Orleans area, Donjon-SMIT mobilized a Salvage Master and a four-man salvage team to the scene by tug from Sabine Pass to determine the extent of the grounding and the necessary assets required to remove her.
After conducting a survey, preparing and having its salvage plan approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, Donjon-SMIT discharged the remaining water ballast and utilized two tugs to effect the refloating. The Chios Beauty was refloated on September 3 by a combination of controlled bottom scouring from a tug's propeller wash and pulling until the vessel broke free.
Donjon-SMIT was created December 31, 2004 by marine salvage and casualty response companies Donjon Marine Co., Inc. (Hillside, NJ) and SMIT Salvage Americas (Houston, TX), in a new joint venture intended specifically to provide compliance and response services as required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA-90).