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Hurricane Rita

Emergency response

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What? Where? When?

Type and cause of accident:
Fire – collision - grounding

Known damage:
What is the known damage? Where is it located?

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Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, a weakened but still powerful Hurricane Rita altered its course to threaten residents in Louisiana and Texas. Rita was the fifth major hurricane in the U.S.A. of that season.

SMIT Salvage was contracted to provide assistance for two jack-up rigs ‘Adriatic VII' and ‘High Island III'. The rigs broke of their legs. Both rigs were positioned in East Cameron, Louisiana. 'Adriatic VII'

The ‘Adriatic VII' went into the water and the drilling derrick, rig floor package and helideck came off. The platform drifted approximately 118 NM of her original position and she is now 1.3 NM off the beach. In June 2007 'Taklift 1' and 'Smit Cyclone' removed one of the three legs of the 'Adriatic VII'. Currenty preparations are made for the removal of the second leg, after which the last one follows. 'High Island III'

Massive damage was found to the drilling tower of the ‘High Island III'. The pontoon, with the remaining leg protruded from the leg wells, was sitting aground in a self created trench on the bottom of the sea. In October 2006 the legs of the High Island III' were removed. Moreover the workscope for both projects was: offload fuel oil and drilling mud, ballast the platforms down, cut off remaining portions of the legs, connect tugs, de-ballast and refloat the platforms. 'High Island II'

On 4 November 2006 a salvage team started to work on jack up rig 'High Island II'. This jack up rig is positioned in the South Marsh Island Area, Louisiana. Our salvage team rightened the 'High Island II' by means of a pull barge.

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During heavy swells on the morning of the 19th of August the bulk carrier 'Smart', 150,000 DWT loaded with 147,000 tons of coal, left the port of Richards Bay, South Africa heading for China. Soon, however, the swell became too much and the vessel grounded next to the channel, less than 250 m from the coast. Just hours after the grounding, the vessel broke in two.


USS Guardian

On the 29th of January the ‘USS Guardian’, a mine countermeasures ship of the US Navy, grounded on the North Western tip of the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea. The prevailing North East monsoon, sea and swell impacting on the vessel were causing her to move up on the reef and she was deteriorating, hence a swift operation was required to avoid the risk of pollutants being released into the environment.


Jin Tai

The beginning of 2012 involved the salvage case of the backacter bucket dredger ‘JIN TAI’. This backhoe dredger was working on the construction and expansion of the newly built container port of Coega near Port Elizabeth (South Africa), when it experienced a problem with one of the vessels’ legs. A cable attached to one of the three spud piles came loose, causing one of the legs to give way and the engine room start flooding.



In late December 2012 when the conical drilling rig ‘Kulluk’, 9,900 DWT, was under tow to Seattle the tow connection parted in a severe storm in the Gulf of Alaska. Despite efforts to re-establish the tow connection the rig eventually grounded on the pristine coast of Sitkalidak Island, which is part of Kodiak Island.


Rig Noble Regina Allen

In December 2012 the newly built rig 'Noble Regina Allen', constructed at Jurong Shipyard Singapore, was undergoing operational tests. The jack-up rig suffered from a mechanical failure on one of the jacking systems during the pre-load test. This failure resulted in the rig tilting severely and the bow section submerging into the sea until the rig came to rest on the seabed.



The French cable-laying vessel 'Chamarel', 5,900 DWT, suffered an engine room fire off the Namibian coast, which spread rapidly and eventually burnt down the accommodation. The vessel drifted to shore were it grounded on the sandy beach of the Skeleton Coast, a very remote location.