Baltic Ace. Photo by PhotoPhoto33 (CC 2.0)


In 2012, the car carrier Baltic Ace collided with the container ship Corvus J and sank off the coast of Rotterdam, in the middle of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Baltic Ace was carrying 1,400 cars and sank with 140,000 gallons (540,000 liters) of fuel oil, at a depth of only 35 meters.


Salvage of Baltic Ace. Photo by kees torn (CC 2.0)



The salvage of Baltic Ace would pose quite a challenge. Dutch officials awarded the job to Royal Boskalis Westminster and its partner Mammoet – who began the complex operation in May of 2014.



Salvage of Baltic Ace. Photo by Michal Walczynski (CC 4.0)



Watch the delicate and complex process undertaken in this video by SMIT Salvage, a subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster.




Approximately 13,000 metric tons of metal and 85% of the fuel was recovered safely from the sea floor. The project was completed 3 months ahead of schedule, and the channel was reopened to commercial shipping in October 2015.


posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee