High stakes salvage – smarts over brawn

High Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace

Photo: Courtesy of US Coast Guard

These guys use some smarts instead of heavy machinery to salvage ships in trouble. When you get offered $30M to save one ship and hold out for more, that extra savings makes for a nice profit. No tugs or cranes are used. Instead, all the equipment is can be put on a plane to the closest airport and a speedboat can get them to the ship fast. Their Dutch competitors can take days or weeks to get a salvage ship with cranes, etc. to the site.

Why is this cool to me? The guys at Titan build an on-the-fly digital replica of the ship in trouble. Then, they use the software to figure out an ingenious way to fix it. It’s a tricky task. If you get the calculations wrong, you end up sinking the ship. Get them right, and you save the ship without lots of heavy equipment and collect 10-70% of the ship’s value. Also, I spent some time after college driving Nissans off these ships in preparation for dealer lots. If you haven’t been up close to or inside a car container ship, let me tell you they are huge.

What a use of technology! Phone rings: “Cold weather or warm, mate?” They’re off…

The only downer is that one man died saving this ship. Unfortunately, technology can’t account for the dangers of moving around on a 60 degree tilt.






3 responses to “High stakes salvage – smarts over brawn”

  1. Big Dave’s Blog » Blog Archive » Follow up to high stakes salvage Avatar

    […] month, I pointed out an article about salvaging a ship in trouble.  The salvage crew successfully saved the ship and its cargo of 4,703 Mazda vehicles (loosing one […]

  2. The Amazing Men That Salvage Large Ships (video) « Sea-Fever blog » Big Dave’s Blog Avatar

    […] ago, I posted about a company that handles high stakes salvage. I was browsing around some boating news, and I happened on this video of the operation I […]

  3. eric Avatar

    607 737-2770How can I make an offer on a sinking ship?

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