During the early hours of 14 December 2002, whereas touring from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Southampton within the UK, Car service Tricolor collided with Kariba, a 1982 Bahamian-flagged container ship with a load of almost three,000 vehicles. Kariba was capable of proceed on, however Tricolor sank the place she was struck, some 17 nautical miles (20 mi) north of the French coast throughout the French unique financial zone within the English Channel. While no lives had been misplaced, the ship remained lodged on her aspect within the mud of the 30 metres (98 ft) deep waterway, one of many busiest shipping-lanes on this planet.

Danger to transport

Because of the situation of the sunken vessel, at a degree the place two lanes mix within the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the English Channel and the Southern a part of the North Sea and the truth that she was simply fully submerged, the wreck was thought of as a hazard to navigation. The TSS at that location is likely one of the busiest shipping-lanes on this planet. In December 2002 French authorities ordered the wreck to be eliminated, because it was perceived to characterize a hazard to transport and the surroundings. Two extra collisions occurred with MV Tricolor within the days after the sinking.

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Following the sinking and as a result of its location in a busy level of a transport lane (the situation was on the sting of a turning-point throughout the TSS of the English Channel), the wreck was initially guarded by the French maritime police patrol boat P671 Glaive and HMS Anglesey (a 195 ft British Island-class patrol vessel), along with two salvage vessels and three wreck buoys.

Despite commonplace radio warnings, three guard ships, and a lighted buoy, the Dutch vessel Nicola struck the wreck the following night time and needed to be towed free. After this two extra patrol ships and 6 extra buoys had been put in, together with one with a Racon warning transponder. However, on 1 January 2003 the loaded Turkish-registered gasoline service Vicky struck the identical wreck; she was later freed by the rising tide.

Salvage

The salvage operation of MV Tricolor was performed by a consortium of firms below the title Combinatie Berging Tricolor (Combination for Salvaging Tricolor) that was led by the Dutch firm Smit International, and took effectively over a 12 months. The consortium consisted of Smit Salvage BV, Scaldis Salvage & Marine Contractors NV, URS Salvage & Marine Contracting NV and Multraship Salvage BV. The contract for the wreck-removal with this consortium was signed on 11 April 2003.

Starting in July 2003, the operation was declared full on 27 October 2004. The salvage methodology included a carbide-encrusted chopping cable used to slice the wreck into 9 sections of three,000 tonnes every. This approach was just like one Smit International had utilized in salvaging a lot of the Russian nuclear submarine, Okay-141 Kursk.

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The Dutch firm C.T. Systems, along with Thales Navigation (later renamed Magellan Navigation), dealt with the navigational elements of the operation. The positioning tools offered the required locational accuracy and after utilizing a aspect scan sonar, the particles had been situated and all of the related positional info transformed to a chart, enabling a scientific search and restoration of the remaining particles.

The cargo of two,871 new automobiles – principally from premium German and Swedish producers together with BMW, Volvo and SAAB – was faraway from the wreck and recycled for the metallic element. Most oil was faraway from the ship's tanks quickly after it sank, however in the course of the salvage there was a 540-tonne oil spill, sparking concern.

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