Multraship Advance on Several Fronts

Multraship Commander is a sophisticated salvage vessel. Multraship Commander is a sophisticated salvage vessel.

In recent months there has been a rash of reports regarding new initiatives from the Ternuezen based company Multraship Towage & Salvage , all based on improving services and increasing the company's market share.

Additional vessels have been purchased, the management team has been strengthened, and the newly developed Carrousel towing system, marketed by subsidiary Novatug, is looking increasingly attractive. A number of recent successful salvage operations and the prospect of expanding towage services to cover some former eastern bloc countries indicates a major step forward for the family owned company.

Multraship increased it's salvage capability significantly late last year with the acquisition of the multi-purpose salvage vessel Multraship Commander.

The 991gt vessel, formerly the Mitra of the Dutch Department of Transport (Rijkswaterstaat), is equipped for anti-pollution duties, anchor handling, diving support, towage, salvage and survey operations.

Built by Damen the vessel is a fully classed multi-purpose DP 1 classed ship of 56.34m in length, with triple SWD engines giving it a bollard pull of 30 tonnes and a speed of 12.2 knots.

Multraship is further upgrading the vessel to include a new double drum anchor handling and towing winch, a stern roller, a four-point mooring system and a complete surface demand diving system including a decompression chamber.

On announcing the purchase Multraship managing director Leendert Muller said, 'This has been a very busy year for us with a number of major salvage and wreck removal jobs, including the Tricolor , Pelican 1 and Castillo de Salas . During the year we have strengthened our salvage team with some new key experienced salvage masters.

Now we are strengthening our equipment pool to give them more tools to be able to react quickly to any job. This is a very flexible and versatile craft which will substantially upgrade our ability to deal with the most challenging jobs.'

And the first challenging job did not take long to materialise.

Within weeks Multraship was awarded the salvage contract for the recovery of three containers loaded with 630 drums of pesticides and wood preservatives containing arsenic pentoxide (Class 6), laden in palletised steel drums. The containers were lost overboard from the Ethiopian vessel Andinet on December 21, 2003, twenty miles north of the Dutch coast, off Texel in the North Sea. The Steamship Mutual P&I club awarded the contract on behalf of the vessel's owners immediately after the containers were traced.

Multraship Commander and the sheerlegs Cormorant were mobilised from Terneuzen and arrived on scene on 3 January but winds of force 7 and heavy sea prevented ROV inspection and diving work to be carried out.

Both vessels were forced to wait in the nearby port of Den Helder until the weather improved.

After inspection the containers will be turned upright and connected with container slings by fully protected divers. One after the other, the containers will be lifted by the sheerlegs Cormorant and placed in watertight and oversized container flats located on the aft deck of the Multraship Commander. Two chemical experts will be onboard throughout the operation for safety purposes.

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