TITAN Salvage, a unit of Crowley Maritime Corp., early this month completed the removal of a grounded containership from the northern coast of Cuba and towed it to the Port of Havana, the company said.
It was the first job for Crowley's tugboat Ocean Wave
, the first of four new ocean-going tugs ordered by Crowley. The tugs belong to a new class of more powerful vessels designed to work with Crowley's biggest barges, which measure 400 feet long by 105 feet wide, and are outfitted for high-capacity, long-distance tows of equipment and supplies, oil rigs and floating platforms, as well as emergency response and firefighting.
The German-flagged, self-geared containership was en route from Santiago to Havana, Cuba, when it came ashore after losing power during Tropical Storm Isaac in August.
Crowley was in position to do the work because it has several licenses with the U.S. government to respond to marine disasters in Cuban waters, spokeswoman Amelia Smith said. The company also has extensive relationships with Cuban officials because it has been shipping goods to Cuba since 2001 through its Crowley Marine Transportation division. Crowley worked with the U.S. and Cuban governments to complete customs paperwork and get its team to the salvage site.
TITAN experts were on the scene in less than 24 hours to help stabilize the ship in conjunction with Cuban salvors. The Ocean Wave
made the journey from Orange, Texas, to Cuba in 48 hours, traveling at an average speed of 16.9 knots, Smith said.
Before the ship could be refloated and towed, containers and fuel had to be removed.