The refloating of ships stranded or sunk in exposed waters is called offshore salvage. In this type of salvage, vessels are exposed to waves, currents and weather and are the most vulnerable and difficult to work on. They also tend to deteriorate more rapidly than such vessels in protected harbours. Offshore salvage may provide only a short window of opportunity for the salvage team due to unusually high tide or inclement weather for instance. The work window may not come around again for as long as weeks or months and in the interim, the vessel will continue to deteriorate. As a result, it is often imperative to work quickly. Typically, offshore salvage is conducted from pre-outfitted salvage tugs and other tugboats.
While the tanker CHEM P is anchored at Bunkering Area 6 awaiting various permissions to complete her voyage towed by the 66 tons bollard pull (tbp) offshore tug/supply ship OPAL here are the latest movements –
Monday 28th March, 2022
1538 hrs – CHEM P was called on VHF by Court Marshal with court warrant.
Tuesday 29th March, 2022
0652 hrs – OPAL started towing CHEM P from Bunkering Area 6 towards waiting area.
1225 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – Do not pass through MX VTS Area & proceed 4 nautical miles east because there’s traffic.
1227 hrs – CHEM P to OPAL – From VTS instructions we have to stay 4 nautical miles offshore.
1515 hrs – CHEM P to VTS – 6 cables more to waiting area.
1527 hrs – CHEM P to VTS – To check if the vessel is in position to drop anchor ( 035 50.74 N and 014 43.22 E) – Answer was YES.
1528 hrs – OPAL to CHEM P – Starboard anchor in the water.
1531 hrs – CHEM P to OPAL – 4 shackles on deck.
1553 hrs – CHEM P to OPAL – 9 shackles in the water and you (OPAL) can approach slowly to transfer the emergency tow wire.
Wednesday 30th March, 2022.
1038 hrs – CHEM P to VTS – Asked if rough weather will be in the area & swell will be picking up, will be it possible to heave up anchor and drift within territorial waters (wtw) towed by the tug OPAL ?
1053 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – If you require to heave up anchor due to bad weather , kindly send an email with your request to your agent as per authorities instruction. OPAL informed too.
1202 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – Requesting Sea State – Wind is 25 knots SE gusting to 27 knots and swell is 1 ½ metres.
1213 hrs – VTS issued a strong SSE wind warning valid until 1800 hrs.
1441 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – Requesting Sea State – Wind Force and swell are still the same as reported at 1202 hrs.
1928 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – Requesting Sea State – Wind is 24 knots S, swell is 1 ½ metres and visibility is low.
2119 hrs – VTS to CHEM P – Requesting Sea State – Wind is 24 knots S and swell is 1½ metres. Anchor Chain is up and down, holding.
Wind Weather Forecast is – Rather strong to strong South Southeast Force 5 to 6 veering Easterly Force 6 to 7.
Thursday 31st March, 2022
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Published – Friday 1st April, 2022