North-Western Basin Branch News

The North-Western Basin Branch took part in the operation to refloat the Flying Fish 1 vessel in the seaport Big Port of Saint Petersburg

On February 4, 2024, the rescue operation to refloat the Flying Fish 1 container ship (flag of Panama) in the seaport Big Port of Saint Petersburg was successfully completed. The FSUE “Rosmorport” North-Western Basin Branch took an important part in the operation.

A container ship with a length of more than 294 m and a width of more than 32 m moving along the approach canal to berth No. 3 of the Multipurpose Sea Cargo Complex (MSCC) Bronka of the seaport Big Port of Saint Petersburg ran aground on the left edge of the approach canal on February 2, 2024 when turning from the first to the second bend of the canal. The ship blocked traffic on the approach canal both for vessels proceeding to MSCC Bronka and in the opposite direction.

Specialists of the Baltic branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Marine Rescue Service” coordinated the rescue operation to refloat the ship. 3 tugboats of Baltiysky Flot, LLC, as well as the icebreaker Murmansk of the FSUE “Rosmorport” North-Western Basin Branch were involved in the operation.

Divers from the Marine Rescue Service vessel Vodolaz Chebanenko that has a diving station aboard inspected the propeller-rudder system and the underwater part of the container ship hull. The hydrographers measured the depths, after which the required total tightening force was calculated and the correct decision was made on the direction of bringing the vessel afloat and on the arrangement of the vessels involved in the operation.

To refloat such a large vessel, it was decided to engage the icebreaker Murmansk with a propeller capacity of 18 MW which was moving in the same direction from berth No. 33 in the seaport Big Port of Saint Petersburg to its operation area in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland after replenishment and bunkering with fuel.

The icebreaker Murmansk approached the stern of the container ship and brought the tow end to the portside stern bollard, after which the icebreaker moved to the tow line at a distance of 40-50 m. At the direction of the head of the rescue operation, the icebreaker began to work forward, gradually increasing power. The work in this mode lasted about one hour. When the container ship was about to refloat, the icebreaker adjusted its course to the right to bring the stern of the Flying Fish 1 to the axis of the canal fairway and kept the ship on the axis until transferring it to the accompanying tugs.

After the container ship was refloated the icebreaker Murmansk proceeded to the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland to carry out it’s ongoing work on providing icebreaking assistance to vessels following in convoy to the seaports of Vyborg and Vysotsk.

In turn, the container ship, accompanied by tugs, safely reached berth No. 3 of MSCC Bronka on its own, where it was successfully moored.

The operation to refloat the container ship lasted almost 40 hours. There were no casualties or damage to the hull and environmental pollution during the incident and the subsequent rescue operation, and the safe passage of vessels through the approach canal was restored.