After the MV Baltic Ace collided with a container ship in 2012 on its way from Belgium to Finland, in just 15 minutes the world lost 11 sailors, 1,417 Mitsubishis and an almost brand new ship—only to end up with the additional problem of cleaning up the seabed without spilling too much oil into the North Sea.
The Baltic Ace was laid down in 2007 in Poland, only to meet sudden death five years later in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes off the Dutch coast south of Rotterdam. Since it sank with 540,000 liters of oil onboard, despite being insured only for about $55 million, $73 million had to be spent on the salvage operation.
The Dutch companies Boskalis and Mammoet Salvage could only work from March to October every year due to the weather, starting the actual cleanup in May 2014. The team ended up cutting the wreck into eight pieces after investigating the hull, removing 13,000 tonnes of metal and most of the fuel while battling the waves. They finished two months before schedule in October, 2015.
Check out this video from SMIT Salvage below to see how it went: