The “state of the art” vessel Seabed Worker has now reached port in Bristol and completed offloading a cargo of 48 tons Silver Bullion.
The Seabed Worker is on charter for Odyssey Marine Exploration to salvage cargos of silver from the two shipwrecks Mantola and Gairsoppa. The Seabed Worker has currently salvaged 1,203 silver bars or approximately 1.4 million troy ounces of silver from the Gairsoppa. The technology and operational experience required for this work is substantial as the wreck is resting at a depth of 4700 meters. Odyssey Marine Exploration estimates that the recovered silver represents about 20 % of the silver cargo onboard the Gairsoppa; once the current port call is completed the Seabed Worker will transit back to site and continue the salvage operations on the two respective wrecks. This operation is already record-breaking – salvage of such large quantities of precious metals has not been done at this ultra-deep depth before.
The Seabed Worker is a 88,8m deep-sea multipurpose vessel equipped for ultra-deep sea salvage and subsea operations. The vessel is currently mobilized with a Schilling HD 5000m and Perry Slingsby XLX 4000m ROV systems. The tooling applied which include large hydraulic shears and grabs, hydraulic saws and dredging systems are operated from the vessels 30 ton 5000m fiber-rope winch and the 100 ton 3000 m AHC Ship Crane. The vessel is fitted with Voith Schneider propulsion with active roll stabilization allowing the vessel an extended operational weather-window as well as increased precision and efficiency in ultra-deep water operations. The vessel and crew has experience from deep water salvage operation from previous operations and the Air France search; this experience is along with advanced ROV equipment, innovative fiber-rope winch and pioneer tooling the key success factor identified in the ongoing operations. The Seabed Worker has extensive workshop facilities and a highly qualified crew on-board and can operate far from shore over long periods – allowing for efficient ultra-deep sea salvage.
The Seabed Worker is owned and operated by Swire Seabed AS located in Bergen. Norway. The company was founded in 2008 by Hans Martin Gravdal and acquired by Swire Pacific Offshore in February 2012. The Seabed Worker was purpose built for ultra-deep water subsea operations, and has been operational since 2009 and has an impressive track record of deep and ultra-deep water projects.
Subsea World News Staff , July 20, 2012