T&T Bisso Salvages 2,000-Ton Inland Drill Barge

June 2009 Vol. 236 No. 6

T&T Bisso has salvaged a 2,000-ton inland drill barge that capsized during Hurricane Gustav in Southern Louisiana.

T&T Bisso salvage engineers designed a method to right and refloat the inland drill barge using four derrick barges and a pull barge.

“The drill barge sustained minimal damage from the hurricane so it was imperative that we use extreme care during the salvage operations to mitigate any further damage,” said W.A. “Beau” Bisso IV, president and chief executive officer of the company. “Our salvage engineers came up with a safe and reliable method to get the job done.”

In preparation for the salvage operations, four derrick barges, the 700-ton D/B Cappy Bisso, 600-ton D/B Lili Bisso, 550-ton D/B Big T and the 260-ton D/B Ajax, were strategically positioned around the drill barge to each apply approximately 250 tons of force. To support the derrick barges, the crane barge Bayou Chief was outfitted with two 600-ton pulling block sets. Crews connected the pulling blocks to the dry side of the drill rig and, in concert with the lifting derrick barges, righted the rig from the capsized position. The derrick barges then were reconfigured to help in the pumping process to lift the deck of the drill rig above the water.

The rig was refloated at the site and safely towed to its owner’s base.