Sovereign Global Djibouti’s Commercial Diving Division has completed another successful Search & Recovery operation in the Port of Djibouti. Providing the only internationally certified and accredited commercial diving solutions in Djibouti, the company has gone from strength to strength providing vital maritime services such as hull cleaning, underwater inspection, salvage, engineering and search & recovery.
For this operation, our Dive Team was commissioned to recover the grab bucket from a large bulk carrier which had become detached and sunk in between the dock and the vessel during steam coal discharging. The company is well used to search & recovery operations, the last being the location and recovery of a bulker’s anchor and 200 meters of chain lost over a large anchorage area.
After discussing the operation with the Port, Ship Owner and Captain to ensure the operation was completed as efficiently and safely as possible, the Dive Team Supervisor conducted a risk assessment and made his dive plan to the satisfaction of all parties.
The Dive Team Supervisor then boarded the vessel to discuss the circumstances of the case with the Captain and Chief Engineer, including a full review of the technical specifications and underwater ship fittings. The grab bucket to be recovered was large, weighing 12 tonnes and capable of lifting 10 tonnes of coal.
Once the vessel had been safely ‘tagged out’ to ensure there would be no underwater hazards to the divers, the diving operation commenced. The dive team operated from their own dedicated Dive Boat, SG02, and were assisted by local engineering company, D.S.E. and their heavy lifting chains.
Water conditions at the dock were very poor and visibility was only 40cm. Nonetheless, the grab bucket was quickly located by the first diver during the initial assessment dive, and its location marked with a marker buoy. A crane was then used to lower the heavy lifting chains into the water, and a diver attached them to the grab bucket. The crane was then guided by divers to safely lift the grab back to the surface and onto the dock.