Salvaging Success: A tale of ISO tanktainer recovery in Newlyn Harbour

Published: 22 November 2023


In August 2023, Keynvor MorLift Ltd (KML) faced a daunting challenge in Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall. Their mission? To recover a 20-foot ISO tanktainer, filled with 18,000 litres of food-grade soyabean vegetable oil "frylite," that had been dislodged from a ro-ro cargo ship during the tumultuous Storm Antoni.

Project overview

As the UK's first named storm of the year, Storm Antoni unleashed its fury upon the seas, subjecting the cargo ship to rough waves and gusts of up to 76mph. Several containers, including the precious tanktainer, broke free from their moorings.

Fortunately, the tanktainer was spotted adrift by a passing cargo vessel, which promptly reported its location to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). A specialised salvage team was mobilised, tasked with securing and retrieving the tanktainer.

After days of challenging operations, the team successfully brought the tanktainer to the surface and towed it to Newlyn Harbour, Cornwall. While the cargo was non-hazardous, it was imperative to minimise any potential release into the marine environment. To achieve this, containment boom and absorbents were deployed around the tanktainer.

Our solution

Adler and Allan played a pivotal role in the recovery efforts. Here's how we made a difference:

  • Mobilisation: We dispatched one of our regional response vehicles (RRV) from our Exeter response base, along with a vacuum tanker, to provide KML with essential support during the operation.
  • Contingency planning: Recognising the potential for unforeseen pollution release, we ensured robust contingency measures were in place to safeguard the marine environment.
  • Responsible waste management: We diligently adhered to the waste hierarchy and followed regulatory guidance, ensuring that all waste was properly segregated and disposed.

Outcome and results

The results of this collaborative effort were nothing short of remarkable:

  • The ISO tanktainer and its cargo were safely and efficiently salvaged.
  • Not a drop of the cargo found its way into the environment during the recovery process.
  • The entire project unfolded without a single lost-time safety incident.
Operations went very well, so thanks again for the excellent response.

Managing Director of Keynvor MorLift Ltd

A Job Well Done

"Operations went very well, so thanks again for the excellent response," says the Managing Director of Keynvor MorLift Ltd, expressing satisfaction with the outcome of this challenging mission.

The successful recovery of the ISO tanktainer in Newlyn Harbour is a testament to the expertise, dedication, and collaboration of all involved. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preparedness and responsible waste management in protecting our environment and coastal communities. This case study is a testament to what can be achieved when industry leaders come together to address environmental challenges head-on.

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