Phase Two of Blue Star salvage set for December 11th to 16th

The second phase of the salvage of products tanker Blue Star (IMO 9527764) on the coast of As Mirandas, Ares, is scheduled to take place between December 11th and 16th, during high tides that coincide with a full moon.

SMIT Salvage has signed a Lloyd’s Open Form with the owner. The salvor has first emptied the fuel and extract lubricants from the electric motors and generators  The salvage work will be assisted by Salvamento Marítimo and the Ministry of Development. However, success depends to a certain extent on poor weather, with a decent-sized swell helping the planned towing of the vessel off the rocks.

The procedure will be carried out by injecting pressurized air into the ballast tanks to gain more buoyancy. Two tugs, totalling 400 tons of pulling force, will then try to get the ship off the rocks.

The risk is that  towage in a lively sea might exacerbate the damage to the hull, as it will be made easier to get the vessel off the rocks, but also easier to temporarily push her back on to them.

Fourteen of the 18 ballast tanks have been breached. In addition, the sludge tank was also damaged.

The rock bed was reported to have worried Smit, and it warned that there was a risk that the hull would break before or during the salvage operation.

The cargo tanks that were above the double bottom of the ship have been sealed in an attempt to maintain buoyancy if the outer hull  suffers further damage.