23rd, having experienced main engine failure and at the mercy of storm
force wind and seas, the crew of the 7598 dwt Ro Ro vessel "CAMILLA"
requested the Canadian Coast Guard air evacuate them from the ship with
Canadian Air Force Cormorant Helicopter.
The evacuation was performed without incident and the 17 man crew was
safely transported to St. John's Newfoundland. Winching 17 men from
the deck of a storm tossed ship in the North Atlantic is no simple task
and required the Cormorant helicopter to refuel from oil platforms off the
Mobilizing off Salvage Station north of Bermuda, the International
Transport Contractors Management (ITC) Salvage/Icebreaking tug "KIGORIA"
(90.72m x 17.25m 16,800 BHP & 196 TBP) was already underway to the
casualty. Having worked together with Titan on many salvage
operations, ITC asked Titan Maritime, LLC (Titan) to join forces in this
rescue operation and the combined capability of Titan / ITC was offered to
owners under the terms of a Lloyds Open Form (LOF) 2000 contract.
Titan immediately responded by mobilizing a 4 man strike team, consisting
of a Salvage Master, Assistant Salvage Master, Salvage Engineer and
Salvage Emergency Medical Technician to St. John's, Newfoundland, where
they were met by ITC's Salvage Master and Naval Architect. The
Titan / ITC strike team intended to be flown by helicopter to the
"CAMILLA" and be lowered aboard to make a towing connection to the
'KIGORIA' and to stabilize the "CAMILLA".
With storm force winds
moving the "CAMILLA", she was quickly blown 300+ miles east of the
Canadian coast, to the Flemish Cap, outside the range of available
commercial helicopters. The boarding of the strike team would now
have to take place over the water.
The "KIGORIA" arrived at the drifting "CAMILLA" late in the evening on
January 25th. The "KIGORIA" crew spent all of January 26th
attempting to board the "CAMILLA" for making tow, but was fought off by
the severe weather. During one such attempt, a crewmember of the
"KIGORIA" was lost over the side but quickly recovered from the freezing
North Atlantic waters.
The ocean going tug/field support vessel,
"RYAN LEET" (66.7m x 13m, 8.850 BHP & 118 TBP), owned by Secunda
Marine, had departed Halifax to assist the 'CAMILLA'. The "RYAN
LEET" arrived on scene late in the evening of January 27th and was hired
as a subcontractor to Titan / ITC to assist with the rescue
operation. With the wind and seas still severe, yet having
diminished enough to make a boarding attempt possible, the crew of the
"RYAN LEET" was able to launch a Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) and put two (2)
men aboard the "CAMILLA" to attach the "KIGORIA's" tow bridles.
Listing 25deg to port and rolling 45deg, the 'CAMILLA' was now under tow by
the "KIGORIA" and making 3-4kts towards St John's. The "RYAN LEET"
also headed west, and made full sea speed to St. John's to pick up the
Titan / ITC salvage team.
The Titan / ITC salvage team, aboard the "RYAN LEET", rendezvoused with
the KIGORIA / CAMILLA tow during the early morning hours of January 30th,
160+ miles east of St. John's. Using the "RYAN LEET's" FRC, the
Titan / ITC salvage team boarded the "CAMILLA" for a full inspection.
Boarding a vessel that is listing 25deg and rolling 45deg is challenging
enough; making your way through the vessel to inspect the engine room and
cargo holds adds another dimension and requires both skill and
experience. During the initial inspection the team found the engine
room to be flooded, water in the lower cargo deck and ro ro deck.
These findings necessitated Titan / ITC to invoke SCOPIC under the terms
of the LOF. To deal with the developing situation, Titan mobilized
seven (7) additional Salvors and 45,000 lbs of additional equipment aboard
a chartered 727 aircraft from Florida to St. John's.
1st, under tow of the "KIGORIA", the Canadian Coast Guard allowed the
"CAMILLA" to enter the sheltered waters of Conception Bay to enable the
salvage team to stabilize and dewater the ship. "Sheltered waters"
only relative to the open waters of the North Atlantic she had departed,
as Conception Bay would quickly develop into a safe haven with force 12
winds, freezing spray and blizzard conditions.
After 12 days of working between storms on Conception Bay, patching,
pumping and preserving machinery, the "CAMILLA" was delivered to owners,
safely afloat in St. John's,