One very high profile case that generated a lot of press coverage was the salvage operation of the 6,732TEU container vessel 'MSC Flaminia'. Whilst transiting the Atlantic Ocean for Antwerp on the 14th of July a fire broke out in one of its holds, which sadly eventually resulted in three fatalities. After the remaining crew had been rescued, the focus shifted to salvaging the vessel.
The owners of the MSC Flaminia contracted SMIT Salvage with Fairmount Marine under a LOF to fight the fire and take the stricken vessel to a place of safety. SMIT Salvage responded immediately by mobilizing salvage experts with FiFi experience and the tug 'Fairmount Expedition' from Falmouth in the UK. Simultaneously, the tug 'Anglian Sovereign' was being prepared with additional FiFi equipment and a team out of Scotland. Whilst these two were in transit, a third tug the 'Carlo Magno' was being prepared for mobilization from SMIT’s home base in Rotterdam.
The boundary cooling and firefighting operation proved to be very hazardous because of the presence of a large quantity of dangerous cargo on board, which, when reaching a certain temperature, could lead to an explosion endangering the life of the salvage crew and crews onboard of the tugs on site. After the fire had been extinguished and the structural strength of the casualty proved to be acceptable, the onward voyage to a safe port commenced.
Under the management of SMIT Salvage and highlighting a good cooperation between the various stakeholders and in particular UK SOSREP and the maritime authorities of the various states, the vessel was towed safely by the Fairmount Expedition, escorted by other two tugs, through the dense traffic of the English Channel all the way to Wilhelmshaven, Germany and safely redelivered to her owners on the 10th of September.