On July 30, 2009 bulk carrier Full City, (in ballast and at anchor off the port of Langesund, Norway, awaiting her berth) was trapped in a sudden storm, causing her anchor to drag. She went aground off the port of Langesund. This vessel was refloated by a SMIT Salvage team in mid-August, following the successful completion of a challenging operation.
The Full City was driven onto a rocky shore after which the engine room flooded and the double bottom fuel oil tanks breached resulting in an initial spill of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). Subsequently, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) deployed all available crafts, oil barriers/ booms and anti-pollution equipment in order to battle the pollution.
SMIT Salvage was awarded a Lloyd’s Open contract by the owners. SMIT’s Norwegian partner, tug and salvage company Buksér og Berging (B&B), was taken on as subcontractor.
A salvage team from Rotterdam was immediately mobilised as well as the most essential salvage, pumping and fuel oil recovery equipment. SMIT Salvage and B&B assembled a fleet of vessels, including three B&B tugs together with a tank barge and a Diving Support Vessel (serving as the salvage team’s main work platform), while the NCA kept Coastguard vessel Nornen and tug Balder on site.
The salvage team recovered all remaining heavy fuel oils and other pollutants out of the holds and tanks by means of skimming and pumping. The recovered pollutants were transported to shore and disposed of. Following this, the damaged holds could be repaired. The vessel was then de-ballasted in preparation of a refloating attempt.
With the assistance of the three B&B tugs, the vessel was successfully refloated at the first attempt. Accordingly, SMIT towed the Full City to a more sheltered, deep-water NATO jetty nearby the grounding site. Upon arrival, the salvage team conducted a final diving survey after which the vessel was redelivered to the owners.