Salvage & Towage Services - Operation Reference

Motor Vessel "PACIFIC EXPRESS" 2011

On the 21st September we mobilized tug boat "COMARCO OSPREY" from Mombasa, to the assistance of M/V "PACIFIC EXPRESS" (17,465, DWT 24,492) fully laden with steel products. The "PACIFIC EXPRESS" was attacked by pirates on the 20th September about 300 nautical miles East of Mombasa. The vessel managed to evade the hijacking, however, she was on fire. All 26 crew abandoned the vessel and were rescued by the Italian warship "ANDREA DORIA".


Tug boat "COMARCO OSPREY" with armed guards arrived on site, on the 23rd September at noon. After inspection the tug crew reported that the entire accommodation block was completely burned. Same day the "KMC ELAND" was fixed and sailed from Mombasa with armed guards for the transportation of the rescued crew from the "ANDREA DORIA" to Mombasa. On the 24th September, the "KMC ELAND" took all the "PACIFIC EXPRESS" crew from "ANDREA DORIA" to Mombasa.


In the meantime, due to prevailing currents the "PACIFIC EXPRESS" was drifting to the North and there was concern that she would enter Somalian waters and/or go ground. The "COMARCO OSPREY" connected her towline and commenced towage to Mombasa.


After the rescued crew disembarked from the "KMC ELAND" at Mombasa, the tug sailed immediately to assist the "COMARCO OSPREY" in the towage to Mombasa. On the 27th September we contracted tug "FALCON" from Mombasa to go to the casualty's location to transfer bunkers to the other two tugs. "KMC ELAND's" tow rope parted on the 28th September. Following bunkering from "COMARCO FALCON" on same day, "FALCON" then connected the tow line to casualty and took "KMC ELAND" place.


A salvage team consisting of a salvage master, salvage officer, naval architect and salvage engineer was dispatched to Mombasa. The convoy safely arrived at Mombasa on the 30th September under tow of "COMARCO OSPREY" and "COMARCO FALCON" with "KMC ELAND" escorting. Pilot and additional harbour tug "KIBOKO II" brought the casualty into K anchorage (man power was provided as the casualty was unmanned) where she anchored, with "COMARCO OSPREY" alongside on standby.


Due to congestion at Mombasa the casualty was delayed entry to berth. On the 2nd November, 2011, "PACIFIC EXPRESS", with the assistance of 2 tugs, moored alongside at No. 5 berth. After all cargo was discharged and the casualty was ballasted, the vessel was prepared for ocean towage to demolition yard. Salvage services terminated on the 18th November, 2011.