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Resolve Marine Removes Wreck from Sea Turtle Nesting Site

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Image courtesy Resolve Marine

By The Maritime Executive 2019-05-22 17:00:31

Resolve Marine Group reports that it has completed the removal of the cement carrier Raysutt II from an environmentally-sensitive beach at Salalah, Oman. 

The Raysutt II departed the port of Salalah last May following an order from the port authorities to evacuate due to foul weather, and she carried a partial load of about 6,750 tonnes of dry powdered cement. After leaving port she lost headway and steerage, and she went aground on Salalah's Al-Fazayah Beach on May 26, 2018. 

Al-Fazayah Beach is a popular tourist destination, and is also known as a nesting site for endangered sea turtles. The three-mile-long beach is home to five of the world’s seven species of sea turtle, and four species - the green turtle, the hawksbill, the loggerhead and the Olive Ridley - come to the site to nest. All of Oman’s turtles have been classified as endangered, with the loggerhead turtle facing extinction. 

After the initial response team made an unsuccessful attempt to refloat the Raysutt II during the monsoon season, she was defueled and declared a constructive total loss. In November 2018, the government of Oman awarded Resolve Marine Group a new contract for removal and disposal of the vessel and cargo. In addition to the removal, the goal for the salvage operation was to protect the environment and avoid disturbance of the beaches during turtle nesting season. 

To carry out the work, Resolve mobilized the crane barge RMG 1000 and the salvage tug Resolve Monarch from Singapore. The assets arrived in Salalah in early January 2019, and the wreck was successfully patched up and refloated with cargo on board in early February 2019. The alternative methods proposed by the salvors - such as cutting the ship up in place - could have taken much longer, and the government wished to complete the work before the next monsoon season. 

After Raysutt II was successfully refloated, the Resolve Monarch towed her back into the port of Salalah, where the salvors discharged most of the dry cement cargo. The vessel's cement pumping system had to be reactivated and modified, and the team designed special airlifts to discharge holds where the cargo had partially solidified.

Once the cargo was successfully removed, the team prepared to tow the Raysutt II on her demolition voyage. For the journey, seven submersible pumps were set up in the Raysutt II's engine room and cargo void spaces with automatic start-up activated by a high-level sensor. The feed was sent to the Resolve Monarch by WiFi - using a system of Resolve's own design - so that salvors could monitor the status of vessel remotely. 

The vessel was successfully delivered to the shipbreaking yard on April 11 and has since been recycled. Resolve reports that the government of Oman was very pleased with the outcome.