LR SERS team’s expertise helps salvage Hoegh Osaka

Hoegh OsakaPhoto credit: GrahamAndDairne/Flickr under Creative Commons Licence

The speed and technical skill of Lloyd’s Register’s SERS (Ship Emergency Response Service) helped Hoegh, owner of the stricken pure car carrier Hoegh Osaka, salvage the vessel grounded in Southampton early this month.

To help refloat and stabilise the listing vessel and salvage its cargo of 1,000-plus vehicles and construction equipment, the salvage company, Svitzer, needed the Hoegh Osaka’s hull data to prepare a model to make calculations. The initial calculations were made using a model of a similar ship.

Hoegh and the vessel’s technical manager, Wallem, approached LR’s Southampton Global Technology Centre-based SERS team, even though the emergency response for the hull data was provided by an ERS team from another classification society. As the data is protected by intellectual property rights and, realising it would take at least five days or more to obtain this vital information from the vessel’s Japanese shipbuilder, SERS offered the owner an alternative solution, said Wijendra Peiris, LR’s SERS Manager.

"We offered them our specialist expertise and the use of our model to rerun the salvors' calculations/scenarios. One of Svitzer’s naval architects – accompanied by the special adviser for SOSREP (the UK Secretary of State for Transport’s representative) – came to our new offices at the Southampton GTC where a team of three SERS surveyors reran the calculations and the various scenarios of the salvors," said Peiris.

Thanks to the SERS team’s efficiency and flexibility, the Svitzer salvage team were able to re-confirm the accuracy of their modelling. The 51,000 gt vessel was ultimately stabilised and thousands of tonnes of pure water were pumped overboard, while the mix of oil and water were pumped into one of the vessel’s empty fuel oil tanks to reduce the angle of its list once the vessel refloated on the high tide.

Wijendra added: "LR’s SERS team has had vast experience of similar emergencies in the past. It highlights our commitment  and maturity in working  with various stakeholders across the shipping industry to help our clients over and above classification. Our ultimate goal is to save the lives, reduce the environmental damage and safeguard the assets of our client companies."