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TITAN rescues grounded ship, horses and more in São Miguel, Azores

(Pompano Beach, Fla.; Dec. 28, 2009) – TITAN Salvage has added a new highlight to their resume of horse rescue experts. The team recently extracted seven prized horses, 260 tons of heavy fuel oil, and more from a grounded 4,454-gross ton cargo vessel before refloating her in So Miguel, Azores, off the coast of Portugal.

The cargo vessel was in transit to Ponta Delgado when she ran aground Nov. 21 on the south coast of So Miguel, only 10 nautical miles from her destination.

TITAN was awarded a Lloyd’s Open Form contract to rescue the ship and her cargo. Within 24 hours, TITAN deployed salvage master Stuart Miller, an international team of 11 salvage specialists and two chartered planes loaded with salvage equipment from TITAN facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

By the next day, TITAN was on scene assessing the situation and the vessel. The team discovered that three tanks and the engine room had been breached, and plans were made to both refloat the vessel and remove her sensitive cargo, including the seven horses.

The rescue operation was complex because the only way to get equipment onboard the ship was with tugboats, which had to get near the vessel amidst heavy winds and rough seas. Despite the harsh conditions, the horses were safely removed and taken safely to a local equestrian center. The team also discharged 59 containers and 260 tons of heavy fuel oil.

With the help of two local tugs and the ITC tug Mistral, the cargo vessel was successfully refloated from the rocky shores and safely delivered to the Port of Ponta Delgado, less than two weeks after the initial grounding.

“No job is impossible and it’s key to always take a positive approach in working with your team. We also had great support from local authorities,” said Miller, TITAN’s salvage master on this project.

TITAN, a wholly owned Crowley subsidiary, is a worldwide marine salvage and wreck removal company based in Pompano Beach, Fla., that has performed over 350 salvage and wreck removal projects since 1980, including some of the most technically demanding projects ever undertaken. The company also has offices and equipment depots in Newhaven, UK and Singapore. Titan responds to vessel emergencies around the world and is able to mobilize a worldwide network of expert salvage professionals and specialized, portable equipment within hours of activation. TITAN is accessible 24 hours a day through the company’s main dispatch telephone number, +1-954-545-4143. Additional information about TITAN may be found at

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