DONJON-SMIT, responds to, refloats grounded tanker in the Mississippi River

June 20th, 2011


Contact: Debra Colbert, 301/332-0813;


Alexandria, VA – On June 13, 2011, Donjon-SMIT, LLC, was notified that a client vessel was aground in the Mississippi River just above Cubit’s Gap, about 10 miles below Venice, Louisiana. Traffic on the Mississippi was not impeded by the grounded vessel. Donjon-SMIT, an OPA-90 salvage and marine firefighting provider, was placed on standby pending the results of efforts to refloat the vessel with tugs. Approximately midday on June 14, the vessel’s salvage response plan was activated, and Donjon-SMIT mobilized its personnel and assets to refloat the vessel.

Within a few hours of the activation of the salvage plan, one of Donjon-SMIT’s Rapid Response Assessors was on scene to conduct the initial onsite salvage assessment. Donjon-SMIT’s salvage team arrived shortly after, and efforts began to conduct a damaged stability assessment and to utilize tugs to refloat the vessel.

“The vessel was broadside into the current, so there was a very real concern that the situation could worsen quickly,” said Paul Hankins, President of Donjon-SMIT. “We were also worried about the rapid silting around the vessel.”

Overnight on June 14 and into the morning of June 15, four and eventually five tugs were used to scour the buildup of silt around the vessel and to attempt to refloat and maneuver her back into the channel. While these efforts were ongoing, preparations were being made on a lightering plan should the tug efforts prove to be unsuccessful.

The vessel was refloated and began making significant headway and was eventually maneuvered back into the channel. The vessel was successfully anchored at South West Pass Fairway anchorage.

Donjon-SMIT conducted a hull survey of the vessel on the 16th while the vessel was at anchor. Some damage was found on the bilge keel of the vessel, but her hull was intact and she was cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard to continue her voyage.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Selecting a Salvor and VRPs

September 19th, 2010
Frequently Asked Questions document can be downloaded here...

International Group Rate Comparison for Salvage Services under OPA-90

September 3rd, 2010
International Group Rate Comparison document can be downloaded here...


July 19th, 2010
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 19, 2010 Contact: Debra Colbert, Donjon-SMIT, 301/565-5329; Click here for PDF version Alexandria, VA -- Donjon-SMIT, LLC’s Board of Directors has announced that its new salvage, lightering and marine firefighting (SMFF) services package is now complete and includes an innovative new Coast Guard-approved and International Group of P&I Club–accepted contract. Providing the first of its kind rate sheets and a funding agreement, Donjon-SMIT believes vessel owners will benefit from the extent of the contract which fairly protects the interests of both shipowner and salvor. Also included in Donjon-SMIT’s package is its 2011 retainer fee rate structure for tank vessels operating under the new OPA-90 salvage regulations that go into effect in early 2011. Donjon-SMIT offers fleet discounts and a damaged stability program capability within this structure. Donjon-SMIT will continue to offer non-tank vessels its current no-cost retainer under its existing contract umbrella. The new SMFF services package includes 100% coverage to all Coast Guard Captain of the Port zones, using Donjon-SMIT organic resources and an extensive organization of partners and subcontractors, providing coverage in all locations required to be covered by the new regulations. As part of its services, Donjon-SMIT offers a unique tool to help its clients certify (in accordance with the regulations) Donjon-SMIT’s ability to comply with all aspects of the regulations, including the 15 salvor prerequisites and the response time planning standards. Donjon-SMIT has developed a video explaining the compliance tool evaluator as well as a comprehensive overview of the regulatory requirements fulfilled by Donjon-SMIT’s program. This program is being coordinated closely with all Qualified Individuals and Plan Preparers to assist in a smooth transition into the new requirements and submission of new Vessel Response Plans as required under the law. Prior to submitting your new Vessel Response Plan, all tank vessel owners planning to operate in the U.S. in 2011 are encouraged to request an appointment with a Donjon-SMIT representative so that the program can be explained or consult your QI for guidance. “We are confident that a review of our capabilities will convince customers/clients that Donjon-SMIT offers the best OPA-90 salvage response program in the industry is well suited to be the primary salvor of choice,” said Paul Hankins, Vice President, Donjon-SMIT. Interested tank vessel owners/operators, as well as other parties, should contact Donjon-SMIT at 1-703/299-0081 or visit If non-tank vessel owners or operators are interested in reviewing the new contract and program, a summary will be provided upon request.

DONJON-SMIT Assists SMIT in Deep Sea Horizon Firefighting

April 22nd, 2010
Donjon-SMIT is providing personnel to assist one of its parent companies, SMIT Americas, in the firefighting efforts onboard the MODU Deep Sea Horizon.


February 3rd, 2010


February 2, 2010
Contact:  Debra Colbert,

Alexandria, VA—Donjon-SMIT, LLC, an OPA-90 Alliance, has received unconditional approval from the U.S. Coast Guard for its Salvage, Marine Firefighting and Lightering Contract and Funding Agreement. The Coast Guard’s full acceptance of the contract means that Donjon-SMIT, LLC now has the required approvals for a mechanism to contract with vessel owners needing salvage and marine response services required under OPA-90, and stipulated in the Salvage and Marine Firefighting Requirements; Vessel Response Plans for Oil; Final Rule dated December 31, 2008.

The contract fully meets the Coast Guard’s 33 Code of Federal Regulations 155.4025 definition of “contract or other approved means,” including the “funding agreement” component of that definition.

“Donjon-SMIT is most pleased by this approval by the Coast Guard. It opens the door to offer our array of salvage-related OPA-90 services to all of our current and potential clients under the new regulations soon to go into effect,” said Paul Hankins, Vice President, Operations. “Donjon-SMIT, with its expertise, assets, and now a Coast Guard approved contracting mechanism, is ready to begin implementing new standby-services contracts well ahead of schedule,” he said.

To see the full view of the Coast Guard’s letter of approval, click on the letter below:


January 26th, 2010


January 27, 2010
Contact:  Debra Colbert,

Alexandria, VA—On Monday, January 18, 2010, Donjon-SMIT, LLC, an OPA-90 Alliance, was notified by QI Gallagher Marine Services that a vessel required emergency towing assistance.  The Tavricheski Bridge, managed by UNICOM Ship Management, had broken a main engine camshaft and lost main propulsion 160 miles Southeast of Nantucket in the North Atlantic.   The Tavricheski Bridge, a 50,300 GT tanker, was carrying 32,500 MTs of Naptha.  The weather was calm with no significant storms in the area expected within 48 to 72 hours.  On January 19, the Donjon Marine Co., Inc. tug Atlantic Salvor, located in Albany, NY, was contracted under a BIMCO TOWHIRE 2008 contract to proceed to the incident location and conduct a rescue tow.  After a 22-hour transit including a brief stop for fuel, the Atlantic Salvor arrived at the Tavricheski Bridge location.  At first light on January 21 the vessel was connected and the Atlantic Salvor proceeded underway enroute for the Stapelton Anchorage in New York Harbor, where delivery occurred early on January 23, 2010.

The Atlantic Salvor and Tavricheski Bridge

Donjon-SMIT personnel assist in the salvage of the M/V Fedra

June 15th, 2009

On October 10, 2008, during a significant storm, the M/V Fedra grounded and subsequently sank off the eastern side of Europa Point in Gibraltar in approximately 20 feet of water. As a result of the grounding and pounding of the vessel due to sea conditions, the vessel separated in two pieces at the forward end of No. 6 Cargo Hold. The vessel had seven cargo holds in total. The separated forward section of the M/V Fedra was subsequently removed from the casualty site, leaving the remaining stern section.

Donjon’s effort in this contract call for the use of the 400-ton capacity derrick barge Columbia, New York, 7000-HP salvage tug Atlantic Salvor and 1400-series Donjon material barge.

Donjon-SMIT personnel have assisted in the oil pollution remediation, staging, and preparatory work prior to the arrival of the Columbia.

Primary Resource Provider

April 9th, 2009
The definition of a primary resource provider in the new OPA-90 USCG regulations:

Primary resource provider means a resource provider listed in the vessel response plan as the principal entity contracted for providing specific salvage and/or marine firefighting services and resources, when multiple resource providers are listed for that service, for each of the COTP zones in which a vessel operates. The primary resource provider will be the point of contact for the planholder, the Federal On Scene Coordinator (FOSC) and the Unified Command, in matters related to specific resources and services, as required in § 155.4030(a).

Donjon-SMIT can be you're primary resource provider for OPA 90 CONUS and OCONUS response coverage. Outside continental United States (OCONUS) means Alaska, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and any other territory or possession of the United States. Continental United States (CONUS) means the contiguous 48 States and the District of Columbia.


April 3rd, 2009
Donjon-SMIT is there for you when your vessel needs assistance.  The top ten reasons that you should choose Donjon-SMIT to be your OPA-90 response provider - for your marine salvage, firefighting and lightering needs:
  1. Safety record;
  2. Integral Part of SMT;
  3. No retainer fee;
  4. Our breadth of equipment/logistics;
  5. Our experience of personnel;
  6. Our proven support to government;
  7. Our organic firefighting capability;
  8. Our corporate experience/history;
  9. Our strategic response partners; and,
  10. Our environmental diligence.