I just did a Google search for an oceanic salvage periodical called "Tug Magazine" and was surprised to see it didn't return anything filthy. In any case I've been reading about the MV Tricolor, a huge Norwegian freighter carrying 2,800 BMWs, Volvos and Saabs that went down in the English Channel in 2002 after colliding with another ship.
In a way, this was worse than those cargo ship disasters: Because the Tricolor crashed in a high-traffic shipping lane, it was subsequently hit by not one, not two, but three more freaking ships.
The authorities needed to get the ship out of the way. And when you need to remove a 50,000-ton ship that's longer than two football fields, it's not like you call a guy named Lenny who has a tow truck. Instead they turned to Smit International, a Dutch company that specializes in tricky ocean salvage work.
Is there anything the Dutch can't do? Smit's eggheads realized they'd never be able to hoist the ship out in one piece, so the only solution was to slice it up like a loaf of bread and pull the slices out one by one. To accomplish this, they used a trick they'd used two years earlier, when they were hired to salvage Russia's doomed Kursk submarine. What Smit did was to build two platforms on either side of the wreck, then break out a big-ass cable coated in Widia, a type of sintered tungsten carbide.
The cable was then connected to one platform, and somehow routed underneath the ship—which was resting on the ocean floor, some 30 meters down—then attached to the other platform. It's true that I have a poor grasp of Dutch sea-salvage methodologies, but I'm willing to bet the guy who had to go under the ship with the cable was The New Guy.
Then the cable was tensioned and pulled back and forth between the two platforms—essentially turning into a huge (Trump pronunciation: "yuge") saw, steadily moving upwards and slicing away.
By repeating this procedure another seven times, they were able to slice the ship into nine neat pieces. The awesome thing about this is it's not like they knew or cared where the cars were inside, so there were like, BMWs and Saabs just getting ripped in half during the process.
Each piece was then hoisted out of the water.
Then the pieces were placed on barges and towed back to shore, where they were eventually scrapped.
I'm told that as a final prank, the workers gathered all of the crushed cars and left them on Jens' front lawn.
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Your best work of captioning yet, Rain.
"Asian Hercules II" sounds like the title of a straight-to-video movie"
Very well written! Reminded me of the Engadget of a few years back were you went not just for the news, but to have a laugh.
Here's another look at salvaging that I saw today: http://jalopnik.com/how-they-removed-1-417-cars-and-a-sunk-ship-from-the-bo-1755659955
Fascinating article, hilariously written.
"A pair of Dutch workers reflect on how awesome Dutch problem-solving is while lamenting that no one wants to learn their language."