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SVITZER SALVAGE WORKING ON REPUBBLICA DE GENOVA During spring 2007 the 216 metre long vessel REPUBBLICA DE GENOVA capsized in Antwerp while loading cars. It took the salvors more than two months to prepare for the pull that put the vessel back into an upright position. Initially, all oil was removed from the vessel. Then 15 big cantilevers were welded to the side of the vessel and connected to pulling anchors piled 15 metres into the seabed. Pulling machines were attached to each cantilever producing a total pulling power of 7,500 tons – the power of 150 tug boats. Once the vessel was upright cars were removed, the tanks and the ramp were closed off by divers and water eventually drained from the vessel with big pumps. The vessel was successfully re-fl oated in September 2007. Diving operations are still a key part of SVITZER Salvage. Decompression tanks are usually on the site where divers operate wearing modern suits and helmets. Air is provided through an airhose connected to a bank of high-pressure cylinders on the diving boat. The helmet is radio connected and has a camera attached enabling the diving coordinator to follow actions from the boat. There is always a stand by diver ready to go into the water in case of an emergency. A diver explains why he loves his job: “Salvage work is never the same. Often there is no visibility when you are diving and you have to fi nd immediate solutions to the problems you encounter. You are of course mainly by yourself when under the water, but there is always someone there watching and it is teamwork.” SALVOR STORIES SVITZER 62 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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