(originally published on www.tristandc.com and republished here with permission and thanks)
I’m delighted to report that A Turtle finally turned turtle and was scuttled at a depth of 3500m some 10 miles east of Edinburgh settlement around 0600 on the morning of Sunday 11 February, some 9 months after being stranded on a reef off Tristan’s south east coast.
After last weekend’s failed attempt to refloat and tow it off the reef at Trypot Bay, the Titan Salvage team began de-ballasting the rig on Friday for a second attempt. This ended abruptly with a broken tow line, and a third pull was then made late in the afternoon, with a successful refloating accomplished and the rig moved offshore.
Conditions remained favourable, so the tug De Hong then began the tow to the approved dump site at a speed of 3 knots, arriving there around 0200 on Sunday morning. The final phase of the operations to scuttle the rig commenced at first light, and ended with the structure listing to starboard before turning turtle and sinking rapidly into the depths.
Both the tug De Hong and the support vessel MV Kelso are now on their return journey to Cape Town, and are expected to arrive there by next weekend.
RIP (Rust in Peace) (We hope to publish photographs of A Turtle’s last turning later this week)
A note from Claire: The De Hong and Kelso met up with the Kelso’s sister ship, the Edinburgh, on the way back to Cape Town and a mid-Atlantic transfer of fresh fruit and vegetables was undertaken. The Edinburgh is expected in Tristan waters either late Tuesday or early Wednesday.