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Titan / ITC Rescue Abandoned Ro Ro

On January 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 Canadian coast.

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.

On February 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, Newfoundland.

Marcon International, Inc. P.O.Box 1170, 9 NW Front Street, Coupeville, WA 98239 USA
Phone:360-678-8880 | Fax: 360-678-8890 | email info@marcon.com
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