How we saved an overturned catamaran
In the 15 years of doing this business, we have had all kinds of accidents at sea, but it is very rare for a storm to turn a catamaran upside down. There are a lot of questions, and all the answers entail difficult actions to be taken in order to turn the upside-down catamaran onto the right side. There are a lot of questions and it's not really a toy that we're going to play with now and turn it the right way.
We started the rescue operation of a very valuable asset by towing the catamaran towards the shallows (the mast was broken so it was impossible to access the very shallows) in order to prepare it for removing the mast...underwater.
There are few masters who deal with mast removal, and those who can and know how to do it underwater can be counted on the fingers. We have such a gem in the EmergenSea team in Split, and that is our Jure, who has been dealing with catamarans for over 25 years. The first day was enough to prepare for the removal of the broken mast.
After the all-day and painstaking work of removing the mast underwater, which lasted from dawn to dusk, just before dusk the broken mast was attached to the catamaran, well secured and ready for the early morning tug.
With the first rays of the sun, the EmergenSea team was ready for a long haul. If we manage to pull this structure at 2 KN speed, we will have 15 hours of towing. That's exactly how it was. At one point, the crew dropped a full bag of Kroki into the sea, which they were unable to pick up because it was faster than the tug!
15 hours of towing has come to an end in the port of Zadar-Gaženica, where tomorrow the crucial operation of turning the catamaran will take place with the help of a 70-ton crane from land and an ES dinghy in the sea, as well as the professional help of Damir Baf from MCS Croatia (one of the best court experts in HR in the field of nautical and Pantenius representative for Croatia).
A special master link for connecting the boom to the catamaran's hard points was made by Damir for this occasion, and according to his strict instructions, the crane and the dinghy were coordinated. This was a crucial part of the job and Damir did it very thoroughly in accordance with the experiences of the manufacturer.
For this operation, we needed an experienced and skilled fox who has been with us for 15 years. The Kalcina itself! Every move was strictly controlled and measured so that no rupture would occur.
As a result of wrong actions, many catamarans have broken, so specific knowledge about catamarans and risk management skills in case of capsizing are of great importance. It is very important to know where the catamaran's strong points are for tying the boom to the master link, and Damir requested and received this information directly from the manufacturer.
From this moment on, everything is in the hands of the skilled crane operator and the EmergenSea team, as well as Damir, who coordinated all movements and weights on the crane. Although the ES Team has a lot of matches in the legs, every job is a new job and a new challenge, so for this kind of work, everyone prepares well together, consults, and during the operation they maintain very sharp communication, ignoring the noises produced by loud observers from the side.
Controlled raising of the bow to an almost vertical state, so after a slight clearing of the sea, the ES dinghy can start towing to cross the 90 degree limit and slowly start lowering the entire vessel. Synchronization between teams is very important!
When you watch NBA basketball and when Michael Jordan plays, everything looks simple and easy, so you get the impression that everyone is doing it. This looked exactly like that.
The crown of everything is this moment that has just passed successfully. Everything else is a lot of painstaking work that requires not only skill but also a lot of patience.
One would think that the work is over here, but there remains the tug to Biograd, and after that, salting, extracting and saving everything that can be saved...
This picture says only one thing, and that is that there is no better relaxation than success!