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(10,393 posts)
Tue May 31, 2022, 02:12 PM May 2022

The people who rescue giant ships

Rain lashed the windows. A violent sea pounded the steel hull of the ship and the wind roared with primeval power. It was the middle of the night in the summer of 2010. The Kota Kado, a 230m-long container ship, had run aground outside the port of Hong Kong. Her crew had evacuated but standing on the bridge in his life jacket, prepared for the worst, was salvage master Captain Nick Sloane. He beheld the force of the typhoon that now, in the darkness, raged over the stricken vessel.

Sloane was holed up with just five other members of the salvage team. Days earlier, they had arrived to the South China Sea with the aim of saving the Kota Kado. When typhoons were forecast to batter the grounded ship, Sloane made the decision to stay on board overnight with a skeleton crew. He wanted to feel how the vessel flexed in the storm, to understand where it hit her hardest, knowing that this would inform whatever measures they took next. But it was a very close call.

"We nearly lost her that night," he says.

The world's cargo ships, which transport around 90% of global trade, do not always make it to their destination without incident. According to the Safety and Shipping Review by insurance company Allianz, 27 cargo vessels were lost in major incidents during 2021, and 357 during the past decade. They catch fire. They hit rocks, reefs and sand bars. They malfunction. But they don't always sink. Whenever there's a chance to rescue a large ship, their owners almost always take it because these vessels can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The people that shipping firms call on in such situations are called salvors. And they have seen some extraordinary things at sea. Salvors came to the aid of the huge Ever Given container ship after she ran aground, blocked the Suez Canal, and triggered global supply chain issues last year, for example. But when a ship weighing tens or hundreds of thousands of tonnes gets stuck somewhere, how do you free it?


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The people who rescue giant ships (Original Post) Jilly_in_VA May 2022 OP
1+ keithbvadu2 May 2022 #1
Enjoyed the article. Thanks, Jilly. Hortensis May 2022 #2
Thank you for sharing Pyryck May 2022 #3
That was quite amazing. SoonerPride May 2022 #4
Did anyone see NOVA a couple of weeks ago? Jilly_in_VA May 2022 #5


(99 posts)
3. Thank you for sharing
Tue May 31, 2022, 03:11 PM
May 2022

As a former Coastie I applaud the efforts of salvors as they not only recover the ship, but help avoid other catastrophic events from occurring like oil spills or the loss of cargo or containers on the seas which might cause another accident to marine traffic.


(12,286 posts)
4. That was quite amazing.
Tue May 31, 2022, 03:22 PM
May 2022

I appreciated reading something that didn't make my head explode

or my heart implode.


(10,393 posts)
5. Did anyone see NOVA a couple of weeks ago?
Tue May 31, 2022, 03:32 PM
May 2022

It was about the Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez Canal. Quite fascinating. There were a lot of people blaming it on the pilot but in reality it was the captain, because he didn't listen to the pilot.

My personal opinion is that these damn things are just getting TOO BIG. They need to be scaled back down. There is going to be a huge tragedy one of these days.

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