Port Elizabeth Shiploader Boom recovery

Subtech was contracted on 30th October 2018 by JCM Freight to recover the PE Shiploader Boom which fell into the Harbour entrance during heavy winds on 29th November 2018.  The Team was headed up by Rudolph Punt, General Manager:  Rapid Response and involved members of our Subsea and Salvage Divisions.

The scope of work was essentially to remove the boom section from the Harbour entrance that was half in water.   Key activities in carrying out the work included:

  1. Inspect boom section and seabed to note any protrusions that might hamper the re-floating and to identify tow rope securing points
  2. Connect three pendant lines to the boom section buoyed for picking up by tug.
  3. Cut away and secure all stays and supporting beams on the quay still connected to boom.
  4. Fit arresting rope to back of boom and secure on quay bollard.
  5. Secure control rope to forward section and through running fairlead to a truck on quay.
  6. Secure tug to forward section.
  7. Tug take up strain and pull whole boom section into water.
  8. Let boom settle and evaluate stability.
  9. Truck take up slack and pull forward section into quay.
  10. Tug veer to port, keeping tension to control bow.
  11. Boom next to quay with arresting rope tight and truck rope disconnected from truck and secured onto bollard (now becomes bow rope)
  12. Arresting rope slacked off, tug gently tows boom down quay to get it into better position while bow rope being walked from bollard to bollard.
  13. Boom in position, bow rope secured, arresting rope secured, tug let go.
  14. Fit three more breast ropes.
  15. Boom section handed over to client.
  16. Divers deploy to do debris inspection.
  17. Debris identified, divers do rigging and crane removes debris.
  18. Divers do final seabed survey.
  19. Port captain advised that seabed clear of obstructions and port can be re-opened

The main challenges that the team faced in carrying out the scope of work included wind, dangerous work site conditions and the time allowed for operation

The main risk which presented itself during operations was the very unstable work area with uncertain overhead loads.  The project was successfully completed and the team demobilized on Sunday 4th November 2018.  Congratulations to the Team on their professionalism and ability to deliver on time under trying circumstances.