MV Sirena (left) with the salvage barge at right. (Rijkswaterstaat/ Suzanne van Beek-Smeeman photo)
ST. EUSTATIUS–The salvaging operation of motor vessel Sirena, which ran ashore at the northwest of St. Eustatius on August 11, 2016, has finally started.
The inter-island cargo vessel ran aground on the northern side of Jenkins Bay with seven crew members aboard. The vessel was en-route from Marigot in French St. Martin to Martinique.
Following the accident the cargo, fuel and lubricants were removed and attempts were made to re-float the vessel, but those efforts were unsuccessful. Because of the location and the weather the MV Sirena broke into two parts.
Press Officer at the Ministry of Waterways and Public Works Rijkswaterstaat Suzanne van Beek-Smeeman said that in recent weeks the salvage operation of the cargo vessel has commenced and a barge and supply ship have remained on site.
On the barge is a recycling centre with a crane with lifting capacity of 280 tons. Materials that may pose a risk for the environment and small debris, which can cause damage to the coral reef, were removed in March.
The small pieces which are very mobile were, therefore, the first to be removed with the help of local divers who are familiar with the local situation, Van Beek stated.
The larger debris, which include hull slabs of the wreck, were partly removed. The accommodation of the wreck was emptied and stripped down because there was a chance that this would sink and cause further damage.
Currently, the barge is being put back into position and the dismantling of the wreck continues. It is expected that the work will be completed before the start of the hurricane season.
Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands, which include the main road network, the main waterway network and water systems. The organisation is also responsible for the waters in the Caribbean Netherlands.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/65599-cargo-vessel-sirena-finally-being-salvaged