At high tide on the 16th of August the general cargo vessel 'Vega Sagittarius' ran aground close to Nuuk, Greenland. The vessel breached all her double bottoms and came to rest with a 6° list on multiple rock pinnacles. Her stern was in deep water but her bow protruded from the sea during low tide and well above the low water mark during high tide. As a result of the tides, the vessel would be pounded on the rocks during high tide when the stern became buoyant. Due to the severity of the damage and instability caused by its position on the rocks, the vessel was partially evacuated.
SMIT Salvage was awarded a LOF contract and due to the seriousness of the situation it immediately sent salvage experts and equipment by chartered planes to Nuuk, as well as mobilizing various support craft.
Initial assessments of the vessel - backed-up by calculations of the naval architect present - showed that the complete discharge of cargo, select pressurization of breached voids, ballast discharge and external pull force was required to refloat the vessel. Due to the remoteness and lack of adequate resources in the near vicinity of the grounding location, a powerful 175TBP tug had to mobilized from northwest Europe. During the mobilization of the tug, the cargo was discharged onto barges and the vessel was prepared for the refloat operation. Once all was set and the lead tug had arrived on site, the vessel was successfully refloated on the 29th of August. She was consecutively towed to Nuuk for repairs and back loading and was redelivered to her owners.