A complex wreck removal operation by Resolve Marine Group has removed a threat to a beach that is home to five of the world’s seven species of sea turtle, four of which nest there – the green turtle, the hawksbill, the loggerhead, and the Olive Ridley.
The wreck in question, the bulk cement carrier MV Raysut II,grounded off Al-Fazayah Beach, Salalah, Oman, May 26, 2018, after losing headway and steerage in adverse weather conditions.
The grounding off the five kilometer beach was devastating to the tourist community and posed a significant threat to the sea turtles. All of Oman’s turtles have been classified as endangered with the loggerhead turtle facing extinction.
RESOLVE SOLUTION: REFLOAT WRECK IN ONE PIECE
Resolve was chosen for this project because of its plan to refloat the cement carrier in one piece, limiting environmental damage.
Resolve’s goal was to protect the environment and avoid disturbance of the beaches during turtle nesting season.
At the time of the grounding, the vessel was laden with approximately 6,750 tonnes of dry powdered cement. After the initial responder’s failed attempt to refloat the vessel during the Monsoon season, she was defueled and declared a CTL (Constructive Total Loss).
As a result, in November 2018 Resolve Marine Group was awarded the contract for removal and disposal of the vessel and cargo.
On winning the contract, Resolve mobilized two of its specialty salvage and wreck removal support vessels, the crane barge RMG 1000 and Resolve Monarch, from Singapore.
The assets arrived in Salalah early January, and the grounded vessel was successfully patched up and refloated with cargo on board by the Resolve team in early February 2019.
This was determined to be the most environmentally sound method of carrying out the operation. Other methods proposed by salvors, such as cutting in situ, would have posed considerable delays. The Government of Oman was averse to the possibility of operations progressing into the next monsoon, season when weather conditions would have made operations more challenging and threatening to the environment.
The vessel was towed by the Resolve Monarch to the port of Salalah, where the bulk of the cargo was discharged by Resolve. The vessel cement pumping system had to be reactivated and modified so that the cement cargo could be directly discharged into closed road tankers to avoid dust pollution.
Special airlifts were designed by Resolve to discharge the holds where the cargo was partially solidified and could not be pumped directly.
For the voyage, seven submersible pumps were set up in the engine room and cargo void spaces with automatic start-up activated by a high-level sensor. The feed was sent to the towing vessel Resolve Monarch by wi-fi so that salvors could monitor the status of vessel remotely. The system was entirely conceptualized and fabricated in-house and onsite.
The vessel was successfully delivered on April 11, and subsequently recycled.
The Government of Oman was extremely pleased with Resolve and the lack of any damage to beaches and endangered species.