The challenge

The research vessel MV Elsa broke loose of her anchors in the Ladder Bay of the island Saba, in the territorial waters of the Caribbean. The vessel drifted on the coast, where the waves and rocks perforated the hull. Soon the Elsa made water and sunk. The wreck posed a major threat to the national marine reserve and its protected coral and fish species. Following general P&I and claim procedures, the Government of the Netherlands decided to scrap and remove the wreck.

Our contribution

The Caribbean are famous for there extreme climate and powerful hurricanes. The wreck removal was hampered by strong currents, waves and rocks. High safety standards, tight organization and permanent supervision on site were key to complete the project. Walhout Civil BV was contracted as a representive and supervisor of the Dutch government Rijkswaterstaat, on the island of Saba and Curaçao. Our consultant has established successful collaboration between the contractor, Caribbean authorities, stakeholders and environmental organizations. Salvage company KOOLE Mammoet Salvage BV successfully scrapped the wreck. A summary of our activities:

  • Wreck and port inspections
  • Representive of the Client and supervision
  • Planning, Wreck Removal and Towing Plans
  • Monitoring of wreck removal and diving operations
  • Coordination with Governments of Statia, authorities and stakeholders
  • Management measurs for asbestos, debris, environment, coral and fish species
  • Maritime transport operations in Statia, Curaçao en Saint Martin
  • Hurricane Readiness Tests & Emergency Response
  • Consultancy Client

Articles and news

Saba National Marine Park

The Saba National Marine Park is a marine reserve with a size of more than 1,300 hectares around the coast of Saba. Due to the tropical climate of the Atlantic Ocean, the area is a true paradise for seabirds. There are several coral reefs and submarine atolls with volcanic origins. There are special flora and fauna in the reefs, like the protected coral Acropora Palmata, various seagrasses, turtles, fish, seahorses and sharks.

Copyright pictures: Kai Wulf, Walhout Civi