On November 2, 2012, the new Dutch general cargo vessel Fortunagracht was rescued from sinking in port by the Antwerp fire brigade using a Hytrans 550 Hydrosub pump. During unloading a large heavy steel pipe estimated to be at least 6,400kg fell from a height of 12 metres onto the cargo bay piercing a hole in the hull. The cargo bay rapidly filled with water and the freighter began to list to port side leaning on the pier.
Antwerp City Fire brigade use pump to clear ship’s cargo bay of water
The Antwerp fire brigade brought their large mobile 550 HS pump to the quay and it was deployed from a fire truck to empty the cargo bay of water to allow a temporary repair to the breach in the hull. The hydraulic driven stainless steel submersed floating pump was lowered into the cargo bay below the mainframe pump housing on the pier / truck. The floating pump unit worked by pushing water rapidly up to the pier, with hydraulic hoses instead of the commonly used but less efficient suction system. The design of the floating unit with an integral boost pump maximises power. The strong pumping action allowed the water to be pumped out from deep below in the cargo bay. These Hydrosub diesel engine pumps can work at 15,000 litres/minute at 12 bar and the Fortuna’s cargo hull was emptied of water rapidly. The Antwerp City Fire Service crew are very experienced in using Hytrans equipment as they have employed it for over 20 years in the city.