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LOCAL ADAPTION IN MALAYSIA Salvage operation on a Malaysian steamer sunk on the River Mnar in Malaysia 1908. Before SVITZER took on the salvage operation a Chinese salvage company was hired to rescue the vessel. Their plan was to place bamboo sticks around the vessel, cover the enclosure with canvas and pump away the water. This plan failed and SVITZER was hired to take over the operation. SVITZER retained the bamboo sticks at the site as they constituted a fence protecting the salvors from the crocodiles in the river. The salvage divers and the vessel PROTECTOR were mobilised and the vessel was successfully re-fl oated. During the operation the locals had bets on whether the foreign salvors would succeed or not. The amount of the bets ended up exceeding the salvage award – a fi ne example of how the thrill of unpredictable and challenging operations was felt among local people. In 1904, the managing director of SVITZER, Otto Hecksher, expressed the excitement of working in salvage: “It’s an exciting business. You have to get used to seeing all your work, all your efforts completely destroyed, to start over again and then maybe not even achieve anything! It takes nerves! If you cannot watch when it all goes wrong… you are no good at it.” STORIES SVITZER 36 S V I T Z E R – S A F E T Y A N D S U P P O R T AT S E A


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