Ongoing Operation: Kea Trader
NOUMEA, New Caledonia (September 30, 2017) – On July 12th, the Kea Trader ran aground on the Durand Reef in the Pacific Ocean. Ardent was hired under a Lloyd’s Open Form to remove the stranded vessel.
The 2.194 TEU container ship was sailing from Papeete in French Polynesia to Noumea in New Caledonia, with 756 containers onboard.
“The Kea Trader’s remote location in the Pacific is a hurdle that we are working against. A major challenge is to significantly lighten the vessel with the apparent logistical circumstances and difficult sea conditions on the reef,” said Bernard van Haeringen, Ardent representative.
Ardent first removed 600 tons of heavy fuel in early August, and then discharged 532 containers by September 28th with a Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter.
The salvage crews inspected the vessel to start further repair works and refloating preparations.
Ardent configured a “sea-borne base” for the operation with a tug boat and a crane barge, and are continuing with refloating operations to the Kea Trader.
“During the last months, there generally seems to have been more activity in the salvage industry than what we have seen during recent periods and Ardent has been able to secure its share of the increased volume of work,” said Pietka.
According to sources, the Kea Trader is the largest salvage operation of 2017 so far.