Resolve Marine has been involved in a diverse range of salvage activities including removal of heavy fuel oil from a ship that sunk over 50 years ago.

Resolve recovered oil from the 'Schiedyk' 52 years after its sinking (Times Colonist)

In times gone by the long-term implications for the environment from pollutants, both cargo and bunkers contained in ships that sank in deep water and subsequently abandoned did not carry the gravitas of today. As these wrecks slowly degrade and with the passage of time salvors are finding their expertise called upon when such pollutants are eventually liberated into the ocean.

In 1968 the 147m long cargo vessel Schiedyk sank in 122m of water after hitting a submerged ledge near Bligh Island, Canada. Recent oil sheens in the area were identified as from the vessel and Resolve was called in to remove the fuel oil using its patented ROV-operated ‘hot tap’ machine. The operation was completed on schedule without any pollution.

The US-based salvor faced a different conundrum when tasked to assist after a bauxite unloader collapsed onto a bulk carrier in Port of Vila do Conode, Brazil. A 360t counterweight suspended precariously 30m above the quay presented ‘an extremely unstable situation’ and Resolve was required to stabilise the unloader and disassemble the various components. Custom lifting arrangements were engineered and two Spliethof/BigLift heavylift vessels provided temporary stability and assisted in disassembling the unloader and stabilising the elevator in the bulk carrier’s hold. With support from shore cranes the unloader was redelivered to its owners in a stable condition.

Working under OPA-90 SMFF contracts and as named responder, Resolve deployed its firefighting equipment package to assist Tacoma Fire Department tackle a fire in an unmanned fish processing vessel at a Tacoma, Washington shipyard. Using water and an environmentally inert chemical fire suppressant the fire was extinguished after two days, work for Resolve including the removal of all hazardous material and fuel on board the vessel in an operation lasting seven days.

In a similar OPA-90 SMFF operation Resolve was called in when a crude oil tanker experienced propulsion failure and was subsequently not under command in the US Gulf of Mexico. Activating its Vessel Response Plan the owners contracted Resolve to provide emergency towing assistance and a 135tbp tug was deployed to tow the 311,393dwt tanker to a safe anchorage.

By Peter Barker