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Salvors needed in wake of Irma

Fri 08 Sep 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Salvors needed in wake of Irma
Marinas across the Caribbean have been devastated by Irma

Salvors will be needed in the wake of Hurricane Irma as marinas full of yachts and workboats are devastated. Although there are no reports of damaged commercial ships, images of islands devastated by one of the strongest hurricanes every recorded show destroyed mooring facilities and piled up leisure vessels.

Category five hurricane Irma has ripped through smaller Caribbean islands leaving a trail of destruction not seen in living memory. Irma pummelled the Turks and Caicos Islands on 7 September, after crashing through the Leeward Islands. It has left the island of Barbuda barely habitable, left the island of Anguilla looking like a bomb site and left the Virgin Islands in a state of emergency.

Irma caused damage in Puerto Rica, Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is en route to the Bahamas with its tails slashing through Cuba. By Sunday Hurricane Irma is expected in Florida with residents and tourists evacuating.

More devastation is expected in the Caribbean islands as another hurricane is behind Irma. Jose has already been classed as a category three hurricane.

There is also more damage expected in the Gulf of Mexico, with offshore infrastructure operators, drilling rigs and coastal vessels prepared for Hurricane Katia. This is on the tail of Hurricane Harvey that left a trail of destruction and flooding across the US Gulf Coast, including a sunk tugs and damaged rigs.

The US Coast Guard rescued four crew from tug Signet Enterprise in the port of Corpus Christi after it sank. Signet Maritime’s 1999-built tug was struck by a Paragon Offshore drill ship when that vessel broke its moorings in the port. Seven crew were also rescued from Sabine Pass, a second tugboat that was holding the drill ship.

On 5 September, tugboat Savage Ingenuity sank on the Intracoastal Waterway near the Ellender Bridge, Lake Charles, Louisiana. The crew made it off the tug safely, and a salvage vessel was called in to remove the wreck, according to the US Coast Guard marine safety unit.

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