USA: Inland Salvage Conducts Offshore Salvage Operations in GoM

Inland Salvage Inc. recently conducted offshore salvage operations 40 nautical miles southwest of the Eugene Island, LA, successfully raising an Anchor Barge that sank in approximately 100 feet of water. They were called upon by the vessel’s owner to develop and execute a safe and expedient salvage plan to recover the anchor barge which went down during high seas in the Gulf of Mexico.

ISI’s Salvage Management Team quickly developed a salvage plan, taking into consideration the casualty’s location and giving special attention to weather forecasts calling for offshore conditions to deteriorate within the next 96 hours. Plans were submitted, reviewed and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

On the evening of Tuesday, April 10th, ISI mobilized salvage assets, dive support equipment and ISI’s crew of highly experienced Salvage and Dive personnel from Amelia, LA. Due to the limited weather window of opportunity to allow safe dive and salvage operations, it was imperative that ISI assets and crew be on scene the following morning.

Once on site, ISI deployed a 4-point anchor spread in order to keep its Heavy Lift A-Frame in position over the casualty. ISI divers conducted an initial dive survey and reported their findings to the Salvage Master. The anchor barge was found to be intact on the seabed, resting on its starboard side. Using the information provided by the dive survey, ISI’s Salvage Master modified the salvage plan accordingly and divers were quickly down again installing pre-determined rigging, enabling ISI to raise the wreck to surface using their Heavy Lift A-Frame.

Upon surveying damage to the barge, ISI’s Salvage Master concluded the wreck would need substantial patchwork be deemed seaworthy. It was then determined that the casualty would need to be carried under hook to safe haven due to deteriorating weather conditions. ISI crew members secured the wreck under hook and immediately went under tow, seeking safe haven in Bayou Chene, LA. Once in Bayou Chene, the barge was re-rigged. ISI then mobilized to a receiving yard in Amelia, LA, where the anchor barge was lifted onto pre-arranged dunnage to allow full access during the inspection process.

Daily safety and job task meetings were conducted to insure that all participants in the salvage and response efforts were aware of, and prepared for, each step of the operation. The resources of all personnel were directed toward one common goal – a well-planned and safely executed operation.

Eli Zatezalo, President and CEO of Inland Salvage, stated, “When you look at all of the elements surrounding this salvage operation, I am extremely satisfied with the successful outcome. The second week of April is not exactly the ideal time of year to conduct salvage operations 40 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico as weather conditions can deteriorate quickly. It was imperative that our salvage plan be successfully executed while simultaneously ensuring the safety and welfare of our crewmembers. We accomplished both.”

Subsea World News Staff , April 23, 2012;  Image: Inland Salvage