February 2019

Resolve Marine Group Completes the Heaviest Salvage Lift in the Americas

After several months of planning, engineering, and on-site preparations, Resolve Salvage and Fire Americas (Resolve) successfully raised the sunken derrick barge DB1 by executing the heaviest salvage lift ever accomplished in the Americas. From the outset, a one-piece lift of the DB1 represented the most environmentally friendly removal method compared with other proposals to section the vessel in pieces but implementing such a plan was extremely challenging and required Resolve’s specialized equipment and expertise to complete safely.

The barge initially sank in a storm when its anchors dragged and the oil platform that it was removing tore out the bottom of the DB1 lift barge. It sank on the oil platform and was impaled on the oil platform’s six-foot diameter steel pullings. These came completely through the bottom, buckled and almost pierced the lift barge’s deck.

For the removal project, assets were mobilized from Resolve’s salvage bases around the world including from Singapore, Ft Lauderdale, and Mobile. Key project assets included Resolve’s patented heave-compensated chain puller lift system deployed from the Resolve CONQUEST MB1 1400-ton derrick barge and RMG 302 crane barge. Resolve mobilized a 40-person team of salvage experts and divers to support the 24/7 operation and engaged numerous support vessels and resources from the region.

After extensive preparations including the installation of heavy rigging under the DB1, the lifting gear was connected and the DB1 was steadily raised to the surface between the MB1 and RMG 302 with 6000 tons of lift force – an industry first! Resolve then mobilized the BOABARGE 29, from a semi-submersible barge to the offshore site to receive the DB1. On arrival, the BOABARGE 29 submerged to the seafloor and the DB1 was winched over the top with inches of margin. The submersible barge was then raised with the DB1 safely aboard and then towed to Brownsville, Texas, for DB1’s dismantling and recycling.

“Raising the DB1 was an extraordinary engineering and operations challenge and I am extremely proud of the entire project team.” stated Andy Butts, Resolve’s Salvage Master. “Special recognition is extended to our key support partners including Conquest Offshore, BOA Barges, Offshore Towing, Offshore Marine Contractors, Smith Maritime, Tradewinds Towing, and Oceaneering. We also thank the owner team of Turkey Offshore Project Solutions, QBE Insurance and London Offshore Consultants for choosing Resolve and for facilitating a smooth operation.”

” This operation took place in the middle of the hurricane season for the Gulf of Mexico. We had to abort operations at least once and send the vessels away from a hurricane’s path. During the final 10 days to 2 week period, we were so hooked up to the sunken rig, entirely vulnerable and locked to the site. ”