Salvage 1991 (Part – 02)

The Writer Eng. Mohammed Shamsul Alam, a bit relaxing at a busy time, 1991 - The InCAP

Part – 02

If you have not read Part – 01 yet, please click the link to get it now: Part – 01

In the continuation of Part – 01…
The ship (MV AL RAHMAN)  was on hi and dry at low tide and crews were coming up and down on land, during low water conditions. At High water having rise water around the ship, the generators were run, foods were prepared on board to eat, accommodation on board was habitable.
At low tide, the conditions were worst. The Ship one side river bank, other side locality many houses and people living. Although the ship was close to a locality, none of the property was damaged.
Electricity and  Overseas communication restored in Chittagong after 7 days and it took awhile for the company to decide what to do. All possibilities and opinion were sought. There was only opinion include scraping the vessel in place or take away cargo but none found workable. So owners decide to wait until life in Chittagong restored normally.
All were tried to keep vessel safe from local people boarding and try to take away removable from ships. With every high and low water, the muds were depositing surrounding ship and its height increasing. It seemed that vessel rescue will become difficult day by day. About 60 local people were employed every day for mud removal during low tide. These people were helpful for keeping ships safe at night since they were earning a livelihood from daily payment.
The calculation was checked and found that with all cargo is discharged, the ships suction effects due to mud around be removed, the ship could be afloat in high water. Certainly, the ship engine and propeller will not have enough water to generate pull to get the vessel out.
Time was running out from shoring up ship side also locality surrounding was impatient with engine noise run at high tide. We were having many discussions and pacifying them about the nuisance and causing small building/house floor cracking due to vibrations created by engines running.
Eng. Mohammed Shamsul Alam – The InCAP
Cargo discharging was only possible using own derricks during high tide with water available, the loaded barges were not available and refused to accept grounded conditions alongside at low water. However company own coaster Ships four of them were deployed. Meantime the arrangement was made to run the generator at low tide using aft peak tank as circulating cooling sea water. This improved fertilizer discharge rate working round the clock. It was not sure when any shore help would be available to pull our ship out of this place. Then we started planning ground tackle to use ship windlass to move the ship when cargo is discharged and at high water, the ship can be moved.
Ideas from  Chittagong ship scrap yard, Bhatiary were sought to make a ground tackle to swing ship heading. It was big plate 8 ft X 16 ft, 12 mm thick which was buried 6 m  underground with a huge welded tackle to connect ship windlass with steel rope and the tackle was near river as our ship heading was towards to shore.
Our first attempt to do so at first high water was not possible, as tackle gave away and ship cargo about 1000 tons remaining. By calculation, the ships should be afloat and possible, but the ground around the vessel is now higher than before and also the suction effect of grounded vessel increased.
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.
To Be Continued…

If you have not read Part – 01 yet, please click the link to get it now: Part – 01

 

 About The Author

Mohammed Shamsul Alam

Mohammed Shamsul Alam

General Manager
Summit LNG Terminal Co.(Pvt.) Ltd

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