Brazil: OceanPact operation contributes to safe refloating of bulk carrier

In January of this year, the bulk carrier MV Caro ran aground with a cargo of approximately 175,000 tons of iron ore while maneuvering out of the Port of Açu, in the north of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

OceanPact, a Brazilian leader in ocean-related knowledge and services, which specializes in emergency response, was called in to assist with the ship’s refloating maneuver and the cargo transfer and relief operation. On this occasion, the company worked on three complementary fronts, guaranteeing safety and effectiveness in all stages of the operations.

The response teams remained on standby at the site throughout the operations, for 16 days. Vessels and equipment such as containment booms, skimmers, floating temporary storage tanks and absorbent materials were also made available.

EnvironPact, a consulting firm that is part of OceanPact, carried out daily fauna monitoring to ensure that no species would be affected in the event of an oil spill, and it was also responsible for oil drift modeling. This modeling took into account real meteorological and oceanographic conditions.

OceanPact GEO, the geosciences division of OceanPact, also took part of the response, collecting water and sediment samples in the area for environmental monitoring. The campaigns were carried out before, during and after the refloating maneuver of MV Caro and counted on 3 teams working in parallel to accelerate the process.

The Port of Açu is a crucial hub for the Brazilian oil and gas and mining industries, as well as for the transportation of various types of cargo to national and international markets. OceanPact has the largest oil spill response base in South America at the Port of Açu, serving as a strategic facility and secondary support base for responding to incidents along the entire Brazilian coastline.

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