Salvage and Marine Firefighting


The Fifteen Selection Criteria

The 15 Selection Criteria

With the promulgation of the OPA-90 Salvage and Marine Firefighting regulations, there is now a standard to which a salvage company must be held. DONJON-SMIT has been striving to meet these standards since they were first proposed over 10 years ago. With their finalization, it is important that the owner/operator understand the breadth and detail to which DONJON-SMIT goes to fully meet each of the 15 points. These points establish the standard by which the salvage and marine firefighting responder must be judged.

When determining adequacy of the resource provider, you must select a resource provider that meets the following selection criteria to the maximum extent possible.

33 CFR § 155.4050

Ensuring that the salvors and marine Firefighters are adequate

The 15 Selection Criteria

DONJON-SMIT’s ONLY business is salvage and marine firefighting.  It is our full-time job to coordinate our response partners and subcontractors to ensure the availability of resources if needed. 

DONJON-SMIT and its parent companies have successfully responded to hundreds of salvage, lightering, and firefighting cases in their respective histories.

DONJON-SMIT’s parent companies owns an unparalleled suite of salvage, lightering, and firefighting equipment, deployed at sites around the country and the world. With its response partners, we can ensure immediate access to contracted floating resources such as tugs and barges in areas where we may not have our own assets immediately available. 

DONJON-SMIT is committed to training its salvors to meet the rigors of the industry through documented training programs. We employ degreed personnel from most major disciplines of the maritime world, including naval architecture, maritime logistics, mechanical engineering, marine firefighting, etc.

DONJON-SMIT maintains a 24/7 contact point, with its staff on call around-the-clock.

Our history shows an impressive record of providing onsite equipment and personnel well within the timeframes suggested in the rule.

Our strategic response partners are in position to provide resources and personnel to enhance the response time capability of DONJON-SMIT.

Both DONJON and SMIT hold the U.S. Navy Salvage contracts REQUIRING, as part of the contract terms, an immediate response capability. Both companies have had their contracts renewed multiple times, accentuating the favorable light bestowed upon them by the U.S. Navy in regards to their capabilities and rapid response capabilities.

We ensure all of its salvage team participates in routine, ongoing training program. Training is conducted using internally held classes, on-the-job training opportunities, and external third party training evolutions.

We regularly participates in drills and exercise. These include client-held events, drills and exercises sponsored by QIs, and various government-sponsored opportunities. We certify our compliance within the requirements of the Coast Guard’s National Preparedness and Response Training Program (NPREP).

We routinely prepares salvage and marine firefighting plans in each of its real-time incident responses. These plans are approved by the cognizant authority prior to receiving permission to proceed. As such, we are well aware of what the plans require and what helps to get them rapidly approved. Example plans are available on request.  Sample copies of plans are provide on request.

DONJON-SMIT’s parent companies maintain membership in the following salvage related organizations:

  • International Salvage Union (ISU)
  • American Salvage Association (ASA)

Members of DONJON-SMIT have been office-holders and executive board members within these organizations.

DONJON-SMIT and its parent companies maintain full insurance coverage with our underwriters to cover any and all of our salvage, lightering, and firefighting operations.

DONJON and SMIT maintains all insurance coverage required and would be happy to review the documentation upon request.

DONJON-SMIT has access to over $100M in working capital and other lines of credit to mobilize and support an operation in its early days.

As an example, Donjon funded the Hurricane Katrina salvage response for the U.S. Navy requiring in excess of 50 million USD. Donjon itself has working capital lines that exceed 25 million USD and can get more if needed.

DONJON-SMIT has both the experience and equipment to operate in any environment that might present itself in an incident. We have specific experience in each of the following environments. Shown in parenthesis is a recent job conducted in such conditions. The specifics are available in the CDT.

  • Fast moving river currents (Westfield, Galveston),
  • Deep water in excess of 15,000 feet (Ehimi Maru, Hawaii)
  • Shallow water (Katrina Salvage Response, Louisiana)
  • All bottom types including rock, sand, mud, and coral (see Experience Matrix)
  • Cold weather environments below 0 degrees F (Siemans Turbine)
  • Hot weather in excess of 90 degrees F (Fedra)
  • Open ocean environments with high sea states (Napoli)
  • High turbidity environments with severely restricted visibility (Westfield)

See and websites for equipment details.

DONJON-SMIT thrives on open-ocean, arduous conditions. With port agents in every COTP zone, we have immediate access to all the logistics support required to carry out a long duration, difficult response; including the sustainment of that response.

This support includes fabrication shops, testing facilities, and shore side command centers. Logistic assets include trucking, aircraft (charter and scheduled; passenger and cargo), helicopter (heavy lift and passenger), floating assets, and train.

As part of our standard deployment methodology, a health and safety plan is developed for every job to which we deploy. These plans address all the necessary engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements and controls needed to safeguard our employees.