Crowley’s solutions group and TITAN Salvage, Crowley’s Pompano, Fla.-based emergency response, marine salvage and wreck removal company, collaborated to safely remove a grounded containership from the northern coast of Cuba after it came ashore while losing power during Tropical Storm Isaac in late August 2012. The project was the first for Crowley’s first of four ocean class tugboats, Ocean Wave. Crowley utilized many of the company’s unique capabilities, equipment and established relationships with Cuban entities and government to complete the job quickly despite many challenges.
Crowley and TITAN had to not only quickly coordinate their personnel and equipment to respond to the grounded vessel, but had to work with U.S. and Cuban authorities to complete all necessary documentation and receive all government approvals before beginning the tow.
The project’s success also hinged on a coordinated and timely response from Antilliana De Salvemento, the Cuban salvage company that subcontracted TITAN Salvage, and Houston-based T&T Marine Salvage, to assist with the removal of the stricken containership.
Following the grounding, TITAN’s salvage master was on scene in less than 24 hours, Crowley’s government services team worked with U.S. and Cuban authorities to complete all necessary Customs documentation in advance, and the solutions team readied the Ocean Wave for the 48-hour transit from Orange, Texas, to the site of the project in Cuba. The stricken vessel, towed by the Ocean Wave, was successfully removed from the coastline and delivered to port in Havana, Cuba, in early October.
Key team members included Crowley’s solutions group, the company’s Houston-based Project Management Organization (PMOrg), which manages the ocean class vessels; Crowley’s government services team, which has developed strong relationships with Cuban government officials and has obtained several licenses from the U.S. government for marine disaster response in Cuban waters; the Marine Response Alliance (MRA), an association of emergency responders organized to provide ship owners trading in the U.S. with salvage marine fire-fighting services and emergency towing; and the Marine Pollution Control, MRA’s lightering service partner and oil pollution prevention company, which provided specialized equipment and personnel to ensure the success of the job. TITAN, Crowley and Marine Pollution Control are founders and partners of the MRA.