TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements

Bulk Carrier "OLIVA" - 2011 Mar 30

On the 16th March, while on passage Brazil to China, Bulk Carrier "OLIVA" (40,170 GRT, 75,208 DWT), loaded with about 65,000 tonnes of bulk soya beans, ran aground on Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha. Salvage was entrusted to TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP. Fishing Trawler "EDINBURGH" on location was chartered in by TSAVLIRIS for stand-by services, safety purposes and crew evacuation.

On the 16th March 12 crew members were evacuated to the "EDINBURGH" in adverse weather conditions. On 17th March, due to heavy swells / bad weather and the casualty's continuing deteriorating state - the Master of BC "OLIVA" advised that he wished the crew to be evacuated whereupon the remaining 10 crew members were safely rescued from the "OLIVA" by the "EDINBURGH".

Simultaneously salvage tug "SMIT AMANDLA" was subcontracted by TSAVLIRIS on the 17th March – sailed from Cape Town with a ten person team of salvage and environmental experts and fully equipped with salvage/diving/anti-pollution/bird cleaning equipment.

The adverse weather continued and BC "OLIVA" began to split in way of cargo holds 6 and 7, leaking bunkers. The salvage tug arrived on scene at Nightingale Island on Monday 21st March. Salvors began a thorough review of the vessel and its tanks, and devised a response plan to the environmental issues that were emerging. Subsequently, the aft section of the BC "OLIVA" (including the bridge, engine room and superstructure) capsized and partially sank, while the forward section was heavily grounded and deteriorating. With the swell increasing/continuing adverse weather - a refloating attempt was unlikely as the salvage team could not board the casualty.

Due to the nature of the casualty's deteriorating state the main focus was to continue observing the casualty and to begin the bird cleaning following pollution of the area. On the 22nd March all bird cleaning, pollution and rehabilitation equipment and personnel were transferred from the "SMIT AMANDLA" to the "EDINBURGH".

On the 23rd March it was estimated that approximately 600+ birds (rare penguins and other birdlife) required cleaning and birdlife rehabilitation commenced. It was a priority to ensure the wildlife of the area be preserved. The after section of the casualty was completely submerged on the 27th March, while the forward section was completely open to sea and the decks were permanently awash – there were no signs of any significant oil pollution. Birdlife rehabilitation continued.

In the morning of the 30th March, TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE demobilised salvage tug "SMIT AMANDLA" and she returned to Cape Town.