Smit Salvage raises wreck of anchor handler that sank off Brazil in 2013

Photo: Smit Salvage

An anchor handling vessel that sank after suffering an onboard fire in the waters off Brazil in 2013 has finally been raised nearly seven years after it slipped beneath the waves.

Smit Salvage has successfully recovered the wreck of the Bahamas-flagged Ramco Crusader, which had ended up at a depth of 27 metres some 45 nautical miles off Beberibe in the northeastern state of Cear√° on August 12, 2013.

The vessel, owned by Norway- and later Poland-based Vestland Marine, had been serving a contract in support of Petrobras’ drilling operations when it sank. Its entire crew of 15 were safely rescued.

There had been numerous attempts to raise Ramco Crusader following its sinking. However, the recovery effort by Smit Salvage, which began in February 2020 and was completed in April, finally succeeded in bringing the ill-fated vessel to the surface.

The recovery effort had involved sending divers to the wreck to seal off all possible openings so that pressurised air could be continually pumped into the hull until the entire vessel floated to the surface.

The wreck was eventually refloated keel-first as the salvage team cleared the surrounding seabed of any debris.

The anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel Sovereign and the crane vessel Smitbarge 1 were also used in the operation.


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