On the 30th of October 2013 the bulk carrier ‘Mariolina de Carlini’, 87,734 DWT, ran aground just outside Freetown, Sierra Leone. The vessel was fully laden with iron ore and grounded on the rocks.
SMIT Salvage was directly notified about the incident by its sister company Smit Lamnalco, which operates tugs for several terminals in Freetown. A salvage team from the Netherlands mobilized overnight to be able to carry out an inspection of the vessel the next day. In the meantime SMIT Salvage was awarded the LOF contract by the owners.
Initial inspections showed that the vessel was heavily stuck on the bow and the first three frames were severely damaged. The salvage team on board made precautionary arrangements at the breached compartments to avoid further damage and to maintain as much buoyancy as possible.
At the same time, the 180TBP anchor-handling tug ‘Union Sovereign’ was mobilized towards the casualty location to assist with the refloating attempt. Additionally, Smit Lamnalco's local 62TBP tug ‘SMIT Montserrat’ was on stand-by and ready to assist with the operation. On the 4th of November during springtide, everything was in place and after sheering and pulling the ‘Mariolina de Carlini’ was successfully refloated. Immediate inspections at the emergency anchorage showed that the vessel was in a relatively stable and safe condition. Subsequently, the vessel sailed at a reduced speed with the assistance of a SMIT Salvage riding crew and with an escort from the ‘Union Sovereign’ to Cartagena, Spain, to discharge the cargo.
During the voyage to Cartagena ROV surveys of the vessels bottom were carried out, witnessed by the Class surveyor. After the discharge operation several dive inspections were performed to ensure the safety of the vessel for her transit to dry dock. Finally the Mariolina de Carlini was escorted to Setubal, Portugal where she was safely delivered to her owners and entered into dry dock for repairs.