23 Aug 2012
Yacht rescued after striking rocks in Adriatic
A rescue mission has been successfully concluded on a motoryacht after she ran aground on rocks in the Adriatic.
The Pershing 115, a 35m motoryacht, was cruising the notoriously shallow area in the bay of Budva en route past the Montenegrin island of St.Nikola.
The incident in July, saw her run aground on some small rocks at 10 knots. Her insurer Pantaenius, said in a statement that‚“The bow was severely damaged allowing water into the diesel tank. Fortunately, only the fuel tank was flooded and other areas were largely spared. However, the yacht was firmly stuck and could not be freed without external intervention.“
She is now in safety undergoing repairs at nearby shipyard in Bar, but the operation, though concluded in just an hour, required quick thinking. Salvage expert Eico Ehrsam, from Marine Claim Service (MCS), a subsidiary of Pantaenius, said:
"Organising a salvage operation under these conditions is always a real challenge. The situation is often complex. Foreign practices, unfamiliar official structures and an obstructive infrastructure make work difficult. You are limited in how much you can prepare yourself because a salvage operation never runs smoothly and so cannot be planned."
Ehrsam was first on the scene at the beleaguered yacht, in charge of co-ordinating the rescue mission amongst local operators. This in itself presented challenges. After making contact with local authorities, diving companies, crane companies and an environmental specialist he had to make a series of logistical decisions.
"Everybody wants to take their cut from the accident. And the suppliers do not always have sufficient expertise or suitable equipment. So, first of all, you have to separate the wheat from the chaff," said Ehrsam.
Technicalities had to be addressed such as, "Will the on-site crane capacity suffice or do we need to commission a crane vessel from Italy? Does the specialist firm have sufficient oil barriers? To which shipyard can the disabled vessel be towed?" he said, recalling the moment.
Pantaenius then faced what it described in the statement as “a race against time". The yacht lay on the seaward side of St. Nikola and was exposed to the wind and waves with no protection. "According to the weather forecast, we had to act quickly because a storm in such circumstances can mean a total loss," said Ehrsam.
When negotiations had concluded a crane vessel was ordered to lift the yacht off the rocks. The operation was quick taking just an hour. She is now undergoing provisional repairs at Bar in order to enable her travel to a shipyard in Ancona in Italy.
Ehrsam estimated that the salvage operation cost 180,000 euros. "Such a salvage operation is always quite arduous for all concerned. We didn't sleep for more than four hours a night while on site." But when the job is done, it is always a good feeling."
Pantaenius Yacht Insurance Profile | Pantaenius Yacht Insurance Website
Pershing SpA Profile | Pershing Website
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