If you have not read Part – 02 yet, please click the link to get it now: Part – 2
In the continuation of Part – 02…
… We started cutting channels across ship bottom also jetting with sea water connecting hoses from ships that collected water in double bottom tanks during high water.
Support from ship crew and also Bengal Shipping Office was tremendous. There were office staffs that have constantly talking and pacifying locals and invited them to our prayers held on board for salvage of ships. The office was paying cash every day after mud cutting to locals that kept them busy and happy. Foods and all stores were required supplied to ships from time to time as if the ship in operations. All crew on the Ships were retained and were in line with our effort.
SMIT Salvage team with Tugs from Singapore appeared after 30 days in Chittagong to participate in the Salvage operation. US Angel relief operation was ongoing in islands of Bangladesh. We continued our efforts in these difficult times and every day was calculating our improvement. All though Ship underwriter surveyor had full confidence in our effort but approved SMIT Tug ‘no cure no pay pull for USD 90,000 on highest tide day 12 June. Meantime our own calculation showed we should be able to make successful attempts using ground tackle on 11th June. The Salvage association surveyor Capt. Paul Davis was in Chittagong on 10th May and accepted US lake attempt on 11th May if unsuccessful, SMIT can be invited to pull us using their tug on next day.
Since 9th May the ships’ crews were excited and started realizing that we will come to end of this grounded positions and our prayer and effort will not the o in vain. Capt. Davis mentioned me ‘Alam, change your prayer team, the last team did not do well’ I told him our prayer team did very well.
Last time also will this time. The prayer was answered giving us patience, kept our morale high include the inking that was great learning. Capt. Davis was excited to join us on the attempt Pull on 11th May.
It was Midday cloudy sky and a cool breeze was blowing. Ship engine tested, forward windlass tackles tested many times by chief Officer and Chief engineer checked engines carefully. 1230 hrs ship started rolling slowly and seemed ship completely afloat. All persons in ships bridge were cheering and shouting. The Captain ordered Chief Officer, start pulling forward of the ship towards river using ground tackle. In few seconds the vessel started swinging on stern and moving. The ships heading now moved 120 degrees toward the river. The main engine gave full ahead. OFF SHIP goes in the water. The ground tackles now moved from starboard to Portside ship moving towards mid-stream. The Tackle was cut off using oxygen and acetylene gas. The ship moved and positioned middle of the river, end of 43 days grounded position. The ship moved away to a safe position at outer anchorage.
The joys of local, ship and as well as office was unbounded. This was big news in shipping community. Sweets were distributed among people. And a Mezban was held for local people for their support and cooperation.
Finally, Al Rahman loaded back 3000 tons of fertilizer that was removed on temporary storage on coaster ships also loaded rest of the voyage Cargo from CUFL and precede her voyage to discharge cargo at Calcutta.
If you have not read Part – 02 yet, please click the link to get it now: Part – 02