Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port (DMP) Wreck Removal Task Completed in Djibouti

Sovereign Global’s Commercial Diving arm – SG SALVAGE – has successfully removed a sunken barge from the Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port (DMP) in Djibouti.


Construction barge prior to sinking

Length:40m Width:13.6m Depth:2.5m

Full load draught:1.5m Full load displacement:593t

Net tonnage:315t Gross tonnage:375t

Having already removed two 200 ton barges earlier in 2018 from Djibouti’s northern Tadjourah Port, SG SALVAGE was contracted for this task because of their 100% success rate, and their professional and safe approach to solving complicated maritime tasks.

The wreck was a construction barge that had been used during the construction of DMP, and because it was causing an obstruction to the building of a new port adjacent to DMP, it had to be removed and re-sunk further down the coast. With an in-water weight of approximately 250 tons and sunk in 30 meters of water, she was heavier and deeper than anything SG SALVAGE had attempted to lift previously, and this raised several challenges along the way.





SG SALVAGE Commercial Diver


Having capsized as she sunk, 210 tons of Air Lift Bags (ALBs) were attached to the barge’s inverted bollards with chain and long bridle slings designed to raise the barge 7m off the seabed. This task was complicated by the huge stiction forces encountered where parts of the barge had sunk deep into the sticky mud on the seabed.

To overcome this challenge, the SG SALVAGE’s professional commercial divers injected high volumes of compressed air into compartments and tanks they had located within the barge hull. With the barge hull in very poor condition, extensive leak-stopping had to be conducted to seal the compartments and keep the injected air inside.




210 tons of Air Lift Bags were attached to the wreck

The final step of the lift was to cut a thick anchor cable with a hydraulic grinder which was holding the barge fast to the seafloor.



Work involved cutting an anchor cable with a hydraulic grinder


Once the wreck had been lifted, it was towed by SG SALVAGE Dive Support Vessel ‘MV MURU’ and re-sunk further down the coast to make an artificial reef. The same was done to the Tadjourah barges removed earlier in 2018, and already the reef has attracted a multitude of different fish species including emperor, snapper, barracuda, lionfish, scorpion fish, stone fish, sweet lips and mackerel.



The raised wreck under tow by SG SALVAGE Dive Support Vessel MV MURU



SG SALVAGE Kirby Morgan 37 Helmet



SG SALVAGE Standby Diver / Team Mascot ‘Muru’


This latest task adds to over 10 years of experience SG has providing vital Commercial Diving Services to the maritime industry including Wreck Removal, Salvage, Underwater Surveys (RINA and ABS class certified), Hull Maintenance, Inspection & Cleaning, Jetty/quay Construction & Maintenance, Seabed Surveys and Search & Recovery Operations.

SG SALVAGE would like to thank all its crew and divers whose dedication and loyalty helped make this project a success, and we look forward to continued growth in this high-demand, specialist area.


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