Storm winds on December 9th 2019 made the mooring of a container ship in the port of Antwerp quite challenging and resulted in breaking of its mooring ropes.
This caused the ship to drift and colliding with a 43m high gantry crane that collapsed and partly fell into the Deurganckdock, a part of the Antwerp docks with intensive shipping traffic.
In close corporation with KOOLE NV a salvage operation including underwater work was proposed and discussed with the port authorities to lift the 120 tons weighing sunk girder in one piece.
After KOOLE received the final go ahead all required preparations and mobilizations were made allowing to start the salvage operations only 1 week later and within the available tidal windows.
Using a multibeam scanning tool the areas in way of the girder were fully mapped.
Prior to the salvage operations, Belgium Diving underwater operators removed wires, cables, loose crane parts, scrap and debris to facilitate the operations and assisted with the rigging for lifting of the girder.
The 800 Ton capacity “Brabo” lifting barge was positioned and subsequently hooked up to start lifting operations which were successfully completed withing only a few hours.
During a final underwater inspection the area was found cleared whereafter the Deurganckdock was released and shipping traffic was resumed.
The remains of the 1200 Ton gantry crane were decommissioned, demolished and scrapped and removed from the quay side.
During the preparations, onsite inspection work, rigging and salvage all parties involved complied with the safety rules and regulations making this a successful and safe operation. We like to thank KOOLE for the smooth corporation and the Antwerp Port Authorities for their assistance and trust in our services.