High-profile shipping casualties attract the mainstream media with little mention of potential disasters averted through timely professional salvage intervention including a handful mentioned here.

Tsavliris Salvage has assisted two immobilised bulk carriers including the Chris GR laden with 51,400t of bulk maize on passage from Brazil to Japan which encountered engine problems around 20 miles east of Cape Bojeador, Philippines.

Tsavliris was contracted to assist and the tug Salvage Champion mobilised to establish a tow, another tug Salvage Worker also deployed with storm force winds and heavy sea present. The convoy arrived safely at Hong Kong nine days after the initial breakdown.

Tsavliris was again on hand when the laden bulk carrier Aeolus lost steering off Monemvasia, Greece while on passage from Turkey to Argentina. The tug Vernicos Sifnos quickly established a tow in “severe weather conditions” and was later joined by the tug CH. Gemitzoglou. Following a diving inspection at Neapolis and with Alexander 5 replacing the second tug, Aeolus was safely towed to Piraeus.

Smit Salvage has also been active on a global basis including in Europe, bunker removal from a grounded bulker off Sardinia and provision of salvage services for a gas carrier on France’s inland waterways.

When the tanker Blue Star suffered a blackout followed by grounding on a rocky shoreline in Galicia, Spain local tugs tried unsuccessfully to refloat the ship. Smit Salvage was contracted under LOF to salvage the ship and protect the environment.

Bunker fuel was removed via hose and “zip-line” to road tankers on shore and a tug connected to stabilise the vessel. Meanwhile Smit/Boskalis called in two of its ‘big beast’ AHTs Union Princess and Boka Pegasus (207tbp and 257tbp respectively) to refloat the vessel after the breached tanks were pressurised and redeliver it to its owners in Ferrol.

A similar fate befell the laden tanker Chemitec when it grounded on a reef following engine problems off Bolinao, Philippines. Smit Salvage and long-time partner Malayan Towage and Salvage carried out a dive survey which concluded that partial lightering of cargo would allow a safe refloating.

The cargo was transferred by floating hose to the tanker Sichem New York anchored nearby and after successful refloating by three harbour tugs and following underwater temporary repairs the cargo was backloaded and Chemitec continued its voyage.