THE SOVEREIGN EXPLORER AND THE BLACK MARLIN
Back in April 2001 the Transocean
Sedco Forex semi submersible Sovereign Explorer was loaded onto the heavy lift ship Black
Marlin in the sheltered waters around an island off West Africa. The rig had
been working in the waters off the Ivory Coast and was scheduled to go to work off the
coast of Ireland, and the owners felt it was the best way of getting it back to the UK
The chosen port of discharge was Falmouth.
It was necessary to unload the rig in
Falmouth Bay and then bring it into the River Fal to have some maintenance undertaken
before its next contract and the two ships involved in the task were the Maersk Seeker
which had towed the rig out to Africa in the autumn of 2000 and remained with it out there
and unusually the Havila Clever. This ship which had once been the Torbas and although
fitted with a tow winch had not actually worked in anger for a number of years.
Here is a montage of pictures, the first few
taken in Africa and the later ones in Falmouth bay and the River Fal. We have Paul
Love of Stewarts Shipbrokers Aberdeen to thank for the African pictures. The Falmouth
pictures taken by Vic Gibson. Scroll down to see them.