In August 2022, OS 35 bulker hit another vessel and sank off Gibraltar. Its salvage from the seabed was a major undertaking, requiring careful planning to ensure safety and success of the operation.
Lamor was contracted for on-site support to ensure that no oil residues from the wreck spread to harm the environment and sea life during the salvage operation.
The sunken bulker had broken into two sections in storms earlier this year. The raising of the hull sections out of the water was expected to release residues, including heavy oil residues. Therefore, we were contracted to be on site throughout the operation, securing the lifting with our OSR technologies as each situation required.
In June 2023, preparations for the lifting were complete, including the deliveries, preparation and on-site testing of all OSR equipment needed. Lamor boom was deployed around the lifting area, and the MOS sweeper and skimmers were ready for oil recovery in case they would be needed to collect any residues from water. A total of four vessels were dedicated to OSR stand-by operations.
First the stern section was pressurized and risen out of the water. Some additional excitement was caused by the strong and random currents.
Once the air monitoring indicated a safe working environment in the engine room, our team found a very thin covering of light oil inside and spent several days carefully cleaning it. A few minor spills around the vessel were also recovered after cracks and void spaces of the wreck body came above the water line.
After that, the weather conditions forced the operation to halt for a couple of weeks. Once it continued, we had our expert swiftly on site again two days prior to inspect and prepare the OSR equipment for the second lifting operation. The bigger bow section of the vessel came out of the water and after ensuring it was watertight, buoyancy was restored.
During the salvage operation, our on-site experts discussed constantly with our other global experts for support to make sure that the selected way of operation is optimal considering the task, weather conditions and the vessels used in the operation.
Finally, both sections of the 584-feet bulker were transferred safely onto a semi-submersible, heavy-lift vessel. The platform ship transferred both pieces of the wreck for recycling.
Lamor had a vital role in making sure the operation did not cause any pollution to the environment. All oil spills during the lifting as well as the oil residues onboard the wreck were cleaned before they damaged the sensitive nature of the Gibraltar region.