TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements

Busy Start for TSAVLIRIS - 2005 Sep 15

After a busy start to 2005, the TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP has continued to be highly active in the last two months with a series of further significant LOF salvage operations. The most recent salvage contracts have spanned the worldwide, underlining TSAVLIRIS' readiness to handle all types of marine casualties.


In one of the latest and most challenging cases, the group was contracted to salve the 25,500 dwt bulk carrier "KIPEROUSA", that ran aground near East London, South Africa, resulting after the flooding of her engine room. Engaged under a LOF contract with Scopic, TSAVLIRIS mobilised the 25,000 bhp mega-salvage tug "NIKOLAY CHIKER" and a 40-man salvage team in early June and was successful in removing all bunkers/pollutants, de-watering flooded areas including the engine room, and preparing the casualty for refloating. As the vessel was heavily aground and could not be refloated by conventional pulling, the LOF / Scopic was terminated and TSAVLIRIS was awarded the continuation of the services under a wreck removal contract.


In early July, a heavy lift helicopter joined the extensive array of salvage equipment and vessels already deployed for the operation, and began the process of removing deck cargo - about 6,000 tonnes of the vessel's total 23,000 tonne cargo of logs. A Russian Mi-26 helicopter, the heaviest and most powerful helicopter in the world, was hired for this phase of the operation, necessitated by the fact the site was unsuitable for bringing a lightering vessel alongside the casualty. The novel operation was expected to last two weeks and is intended to provide sufficient buoyancy to allow a successful refloating of the bulker later in July.


Early in May, "NIKOLAY CHIKER's" sister vessel "FOTIY KRYLOV", was called into action in mid-Atlantic when TSAVLIRIS was contracted to salve a laden panamax bulk carrier, disabled after losing its rudder on a voyage from Florida to India with 58,000 tonnes of fertilizers. Despatched from its station in the Azores, the mega-tug was successful in bringing the damaged bulker, "CARAVOS HORIZON", safely to Greece for delivery to its owner, after an extremely awkward towage of a crippled vessel under adverse weather conditions.


At the same time, the group was responding to another casualty, this time grounding in the East China Sea. A wide array of salvage equipment, including specially fabricated cargo slings, was sent for the "THIA CHRYSSOULA", stranded off the Senkaku Islands. Although lightering was hindered by deteriorating weather, TSAVLIRIS beat an imminent typhoon that hit the area, safely delivering the vessel to her destination in South Korea.


Other highlights of activities in the last two months have included the successful salvage of the cargo vessel "ARION", disable with steering gear failure about 900 miles east of Salvador, Brazil. In another successful lightering and refloating operation, TSAVLIRIS-contracted tugs were able to refloat the cargo vessel "ELEFTHERIA", which had run aground in Denmark's Great Belt while on a voyage carrying barley from Rostock to Jeddah.


The period also saw TSAVLIRIS active in the Indian Ocean, where the group-operated salvage tug "SB-408" is stationed. In May and June, the salvage tug responded to two separate cases where cargo ships were listing and in peril. After a battle to salve the abandoned "HUI LONG", the vessel sank, and in the second operation, efforts to contain flooding of the freighter "HALA" failed, but the tug was able to recover the crew of the casualty.