Offloading sunken vessels

ROLS – proven safety

A shipwreck poses an imminent risk of an oil spill, whether laying on a reef or settled at the bottom of the sea. In order to provide safety for divers and the environment, Framo started its development of a tool for oil recovery from sunken wrecks in the early 1990s. The solution is known as ROLS or remote offloading system. It has been used over the years in combination with a third party remote operated vehicle (ROV).

The new ROLS X0 is a complete system that can be precisely positioned without the need for an ROV. The ROLS X0 design is, in fact, a fully functional subsea vehicle, having greater manoeuvring abilities than any commercially available ROV. This means it is possible to land on any subsea structure, whether vertical or upside down. Once landed, ROLS X0 uses traction to reach the target with millimetre precision.

Upon reaching the target, ROLS X0 affixes a specially designed landing plate and drills a hole through the hull to access the subject tank. The landing plate becomes a leak-proof interface between the tank and subsequent lightering operation. Quick connects allow pumps to be attached to the landing plate, activating the automatic valve to open and the discharge can start. The landing plate is left behind, creating a fully acceptable hull plug.

Recovery from a sunken vessel

On 1 May 1940, in the midst of World War II, the oil tanker SS Boardale capsized outside of Bø in Vesterålen, Norway. In 2011, 201 m3 of oil and 12 m3 of oily water was recovered from the vessel’s two tanks during a four-day operation for the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

The SS Boardale was one of five World War II-era vessels that Framo emptied for the Norwegian Coastal Administration in 2011. In total, ROLS has been used for recovery on over 20 sunken vessels.


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