June 27, 2007
Smit contracted to salvage Bourbon MPSV
Smit Salvage has been contracted to proceed with operations to salvage the Bourbon multi purpose supply vessel Athena. The ship, which is under contract to Total E&P Congo is resting on a sandy bottom at a site in the outer roads of Pointe Noire, Congo at a depth of 10 m and listing 50 degrees.
The ship was towed to that location and anchored after it had reported at 5.25 a.m. Paris time yesterday that a technical problem had resulted in water entering the engine room.
At the time oh the report, the ship was was 15 nautical miles off the coast of Congo, in transit between the oil fields of Likouala and East Tchibouela.
In line with Bourbon and Total safety management procedures, emergency committees were put in place immediately, on site in Pointe Noire and in France.
To optimize operations the anchor was dropped to immobilize the ship and the engine compartments were isolated. The 63 people on board (26 crew members and 37 technicians) were immediately evacuated onto a Total barge located in the area.
The Athena was then towed by Achille, a Bourbon AHTS also under contract to Total E & P Congo, to Pointe Noire, where was reported sheltering and safe by 7.00 p.m. Paris time, with no pollution reported.
Pumping and hull watertightness procedures began in preparation for transferring the vessel to a shipyard for drydocking and repair.
Due to poor weather conditions, however, these operations had to be stopped during the night and the vessel came to rest on the bottom.