Capsized barge situation ‘Resolved’

The split-hull hopper was cut in two for lifting onto a barge (Resolve Marine) The split-hull hopper was cut in two for lifting onto a barge (Resolve Marine)
Industry Database

Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Resolve Marine Group has completed an operation to recover a capsized split-hopper barge in Singapore waters.

The 50m long barge was involved in a land reclamation operation when it capsized and sank. Resolve Marine was engaged to recover the barge with a requirement for the salvors to maintain close communication with those involved in the reclamation work to avoid lengthy delays while the operation progressed.

As is the norm now with such operations, protection of the environment was a priority and, 5,000 litres of hydraulic oil trapped in the barge were pumped out by the salvors. A plan to recover the barge itself was drawn up involving lifting the wreck bodily onto a barge.

To achieve manageable loads it was decided to cut it into two with cutting above the water level carried out using oxy-acetylene torches while divers using Broco underwater cutting torches carried out the work below water level.

With the barge now in two sections three-inch lifting chains were fitted in preparation for the recovery. For the lifting operation itself, Resolve mobilised the sheerlegs barge RMG 500 from its nearby berth in Singapore. The bow and stern sections of the barge weighed 350 and 300 tonnes respectively and were safely lifted from the seabed and loaded onto a deck barge for transport to a local scrapping facility. The entire operation was completed just 14 days after Resolve Marine’s arrival on site.

The RMG 500 sheerlegs barge has a length overall of 48.2m with a four-point mooring system. Crane boom length is 45m and the lifting capacity (two hooks) is 500t with a secondary hook capable of lifting 50t. RMG 500 is just one of a total of 10 sheerlegs and barges in Resolve’s fleet along with seven ocean-going tugs. Resolve Marine has a European presence in London, Rotterdam and Gibraltar.

By Peter Barker

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