Complex rescue operation at sea – Grup Servicii Petroliere

GSP-King-webGSP King, AHTS/Rescue vessel type from the fleet of Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) successfully took part in the rescue operation of the Basel Express cargo ship, under Panama flag, in extreme weather conditions.

On Thursday, December 29, at approximately 17.00, Grup Servicii Petroliere received the intervention request from the Maritime Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Constanța, being asked to intervene and provide support for the cargo vessel Basel Express, which was drifting, without propulsion, electricity and fuel, 3 miles away of the entrance of Constanța Port.

At 18:00 hr. GSP King, with the Master of the ship Eduard Troian in command, left Constanța Port with a crew of 14 onboard. The coordination of the rescue of the drifting vessel was provided by the Grup Servicii Petroliere ERCC (Emergency Response Coordination Centre), having Laurențiu Zanfir, the General Director of the Constanța Maritime Coordination Centre, in command of the joint rescue operation.

At 21.00 hr. – MRCC Constanța has accepted the proposal of the Master of GSP King to return to harbor and retrieve a grapnel (an anchor chains hookup device), to tow Basel Express. This maneuver was needed because the mooring lines of Basel Express broke when they were stretched for towing.

At 23.55 hr., the rescue vessel GSP King approached Basel Express again and started preparing for the hooking up maneuver with the grapnel anchor chain, in order to succeed using the chain as a tow line.

At 02.45 hr., at the end of 2 hours of difficult maneuvers, GSP King managed fouling the Basel Express anchor chain and the drifting ship set off towards Constanța Port under safe towage, the trailer length exceeding 200 meters.

The convoy arrived in Constanța Port in the morning where the cargo vessel was taken over by harbor tugs and berthed at the passenger quay of the port of Constanța.

Basel Express, with an approximately 8,000 dwt tonnage and 126 meters in length, loaded with grain, had its main engine damaged in the Constanța Port waiting area. The cargo ship was drifting to the Romanian seaside, the drifting path showing the stranding danger in Mangalia area. At the time of the rescue completion, Basel Express registered a drift of 11 nautical miles away from the initial waiting position.

The rescue operation was carried out under headwinds exceeding 55 nautical knots per hour (100 km/h) and waves of over 6 meters. The rescue operation was completed on Friday, at 11.38 hr., after almost 18 rescue action hours.

The anchoring solution provided by GSP King for the rescue of the drifting Basel Express is a first in Romania in an open sea rescue situation.

Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) operates an extensive and diversified fleet, comprising mobile offshore drilling units (rigs), offshore support vessels, offshore construction vessels, heavy lift crane barges, an ROV fleet and a saturation diving system. GSP is a member of GSP Holding, an integrated services provider for the oil and gas offshore industry, rendering drilling, offshore construction, marine operation, shipping, aviation, shipbuilding, engineering, logistics, catering, training services, with worldwide operations. The Quality Management System was audited and certified as complying ISO 9001, ISO 14001, BS OHSAS 18001, ISO / TS 29001 and the requirements of the ISM Code by Bureau Veritas.

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