Double salvage operations for Tsavliris

'Peppino Bottiglieri' was refloated after grounding off San Juan lighthouse (Tsavliris) 'Peppino Bottiglieri' was refloated after grounding off San Juan lighthouse (Tsavliris)

Tsavliris Salvage is never far away from the news with its activities, recently reporting its role in two salvage operations of note.

The incidents were different in their detail but provided examples of how expected norms of potentially complex operations surrounding a grounding and the similarly expected usually straight-forward nature of rescue tows can be turned on their heads.

Earlier this year, the 2009-built Panamax bulk carrier Peppino Bottiglieri (51,255gt, 93,251dwt) grounded around 1.9 miles from San Juan lighthouse. The vessel was outbound from Bahia Blanca, Argentina with destination Cai Mep, Vietnam laden with 74,300t of soya beans and corn.

Tsavliris Salvage was contracted to provide assistance and on the same day a salvage master and salvage officer were able to board the vessel. The tugs Ona Topaz (5,150bhp, 75tbp) and Ona Triunfo (5,086bhp, 75tbp) were mobilised from Bahia Blanca to assist the stranded vessel.

Just one day later following an underwater inspection the Peppino Bottiglieri was refloated by the tugs which then escorted the vessel to a local anchorage for inspection as instructed by port authorities. Two days later, and just five days after the initial grounding of the vessel all services from Tsavliris were terminated and the operation completed.

It was a different story in European waters during the same month when what could otherwise have been a routine rescue tow presented problems emphasising the importance of having professional assistance on hand.

Tsavliris was engaged to provide salvage assistance to the bulk carrier Panamax Alexander (38,928gt, 74,247dwt) laden with 70,260dwt of low silica acid pellets. Machinery problems left the vessel disabled around 600nm west of Bishop Rock, UK while on passage from Seven Islands, Canada to Ghent, Belgium.

The 205tbp Boskalis tug Union Manta sailed the same day from its anchorage off Scheveningen to assist. It arrived five days later, and a tow was commenced with destination Flushing Roads. The planned route had to be deviated from on several occasions due to bad weather and eight days later the towing connection with Panamax Alexander was lost but soon re-established.

The convoy reached Everingen for lightening operations nineteen days after the initial breakdown and two days later proceeded to Arcelor terminal with the assistance of five port tugs where salvage services were terminated.

By Peter Barker

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