FAQ Follow On:Twitter Google+ Facebook Tumblr subscribe by RSS or Email

Salvaging the TK Bremen

|

Just over a month ago, the TK Bremen, a Maltese-registered cargo ship, ran aground high on Kerminihy beach in Brittany, France, during a severe storm. The TK Bremen weighed over 2,000 tons, measured 109 meters (330 ft), and was carrying more than 220 tons of fuel oil -- which immediately began leaking. Inspections were made, and the damage was deemed too severe to repair, so salvage and scrapping operations began. The surrounding dunes are part of a nature reserve, so workers took extra precautions as they offloaded the fuel oil, tore the ship apart, and trucked away the pieces. At a cost of nearly 10 million euros (13 million dollars), 40 men worked day and night for two weeks to dismantle the vessel, including its 10-ton engine, and clean up the beach. One month after the wreck, the cleanup process is nearly complete. [29 photos]

Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate  Choose:
Rescue workers stand next to TK Bremen cargo ship which ran aground during a powerful storm, spilling oil off the coast of France's northwestern region of Brittany as it lies stranded on Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, on December 16, 2011. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers stand next to TK Bremen cargo ship which ran aground during a powerful storm, spilling oil off the coast of France's northwestern region of Brittany as it lies stranded on Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, on December 16, 2011. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)
The cargo ship TK Bremen, stranded on Kerminihy beach at Erdeven, near Lorient, France, on December 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Mael Prigent, Marine Nationale) #
AS332 "Super Puma" helicopters fly over the TK Bremen cargo ship on Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, on December 16, 2011. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images) #
The cargo ship TK Bremen, stranded on the beach at Kerminihy beach at Erdeven, near Lorient, France, on December 16, 2011. (AP Photo/David Vincent) #
In this image made available by France's Marine Nationale, the cargo ship TK Bremen sits stranded on a beach near Erdeven, France, on December 16, 2011, spilled fuel oil fouling the water. (AP Photo/Mael Prigent, Marine Nationale) #
Workers clean the beach after the Maltese-registered TK Bremen ran aground on Kerminihy beach, on December 16, 2011. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
Fuel oil spilled from the stranded TK Bremen covers parts of Kerminihy beach in Erdeven after a storm battered the region on December 16, 2011. (Mael Prigent/AFP/Getty Images) #
A French civil guard clears sand contaminated with fuel oil on Kerminihy beach after the TK Bremen cargo ship was stranded by high winds, on December 17, 2011. Graffiti on the side of the ship reads in French: "For Christmas, I wanted some snow, not fuel oil" (AP Photo/David Vincent) #
Oil pollutes Etel beach after the TK Bremen ran aground on Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, on December 17, 2011. An oil slick was reported to be floating toward the coast between the city of Lorient and the Quiberon peninsula, according to the Brest maritime authorities. (Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images) #
A wave brakes on the stranded TK Bremen, near Lorient, France, on December 17, 2011. (AP Photo/David Vincent) #
Firefighters clean the sand of Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, on December 17, 2011. (Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images) #
Demonstrators and onlookers gather in front of the beached cargo TK Bremen at Erdeven, on December 17, 2011. (AP Photo/David Vincent) #
People wander near the beached TK Bremen on December 17, 2011. (Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images) #
Technicians fix a pipe during oil pumping operations, to remove fuel oil and prevent further pollution, after the TK Bremen ran aground in Erdeven, on December 19, 2011. (Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images) #
After building a ramp with beach sand, technicians work to pump the remaining fuel oil from the wreck of the TK Bremen in Erdeven, France, on December 19, 2011. (Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images) #
An employee of Dutch company SMIT fixes a pipe during oil pumping operations on the TK Bremen, on December 19, 2011. (Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images) #
Workers prepare to dismantle the beached TK Bremen, near Lorient, on January 6, 2012. (AP Photo/David Vincent) #
The beached TK Bremen is broken apart at Erdeven, France, on January 7, 2012. (AP Photo/David Vincent) #
A workman cuts the hull of the TK Bremen into pieces on Kerminihy beach, on January 23, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
A hydraulic shear cuts apart the hull, dismantling the TK Bremen on Kerminihy beach, on January 7, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
A closer view of the hydraulic shear cutting apart the hull and dismantling the TK Bremen on Kerminihy beach, on January 7, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
Security officers patrol the beach as a crane dismantles the TK Bremen in western France, on January 7, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
The bow removed, crews continue work to dismantle the TK Bremen, on Kerminihy beach, on January 13, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
Workers tear apart the grounded TK Bremen, on January 13, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
Some of the more than 2,000 tons of scrap lie on Kerminihy beach in front of the carcass of the TK Bremen, on January 13, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
Cranes tear apart and remove scrap metal from the hull of the TK Bremen on January 19, 2012. (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images) #
Scrap metal from the nearly-gone TK Bremen cargo ship is stacked high on Kerminihy beach in Erdeven, France, on January 23, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
The remaining structure of the cargo ship TK Bremen, viewed on January 23, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #
A wave breaks over the last remaining piece of the TK Bremen, after most of the salvage operation was completed, on January 23, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe) #

Related links and information

Previous gallery | Next gallery | View All Back to top

Recent Entries

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

blog comments powered by Disqus

On Newsstands Now

Subscribe and SAVE 65%
10 issues JUST $2.45/COPY

The Atlantic Monthly

Secrets of the creative brain, inside the Lennon-McCartney collaboration, Afghanistan after Karzai, why cartoon mothers are all dead, and more