Blue Marlin Transits Columbia River


08/26/2014: The Blue Marlin is a semi-submersible heavy lift ship designed to transport very large semi-submersible drilling rigs above the transport ship’s deck.

This ship can carry a staggering 75,000 tons.

 Credit: USCG District 13:8/24/14

According to the Wikipedia entry:

Blue Marlin is a semi-submersible heavy lift ship from Dockwise Shipping of the Netherlands. Designed to transport very large semi-submersible drilling rigs above the transport ship’s deck, it is equipped with 38 cabins to accommodate 60 people, a workout room, sauna and swimming facilities. Blue Marlin and her sister ship MV Black Marlin comprise the Marlin class of heavy lift ship.

Blue Marlin and her sister ship were owned by Offshore Heavy Transport of Oslo, Norway, from their construction, in April 2000 and November 1999 respectively, until 6 July 2001, when they were purchased by Dockwise.

The U.S. Navy hired Blue Marlin from Offshore Heavy Transport to move the destroyer USS Cole back to the United States after the warship was damaged by Al-Qaeda suicide bombers while anchored in the port of Aden, Yemen. During the latter part of 2003, work done on Blue Marlin boosted its capacity and added two retractable propulsors to improve maneuverability.

The ship re-entered service in January 2004. Following these improvements, Blue Marlin delivered the oil platform Thunder Horse PDQ, weighing 60,000 tons, to Corpus Christi, Texas, for completion.

In July 2005 Blue Marlin moved the gas refinery Snøhvit from its construction site in Cádiz to Hammerfest, an 11 day trip.[ This transport was filmed for the TV show Extreme Engineering on the Discovery Channel, and also the TV show Mega Movers on the History Channel.

In November 2005, Blue Marlin left Corpus Christi, Texas, to move the massive Sea-based X-band Radar to Adak, Alaska, via the southern tip of South America and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 January 2006, having travelled 15,000 miles. In January 2007, the Blue Marlin was employed to move two jack-up rigs, the Rowan Gorilla VI and the GlobalSantaFe Galaxy II, from Halifax Harbour to the North Sea.

On 16 June 2012, the ship arrived in Ferrol Harbour in preparation for transporting the amphibious warship HMAS Canberra to Melbourne, Australia. The incomplete Australian ship was lifted onto Blue Marlin on 4 August 2012 and was scheduled to sail on 12 August, bound for Australia BAE Systems shipyard in Williamstown. The ship passed the Port Phillip Heads marking its arrival in Melbourne on 17 October 2012.[

And according to a recent AP piece about the presence of the ship in Portland, Oregon:

A heavy-lift vessel transporting the parts for a $50 million dry dock will be a striking sight this weekend as it makes its way up the Columbia River to Portland.

The Dutch vessel Blue Marlin is carrying the Chinese-built components of the dry dock that Vigor Industrial LLC plans to use for repairing large cruise ships and other vessels at Swan Island.

The 738-foot Blue Marlin is known as the world’s largest heavy-lift ship, the Oregonian reported ( ). Vigor Industrial said the three pieces of the dry dock will be 960 feet long once they are assembled, which is expected by Nov. 1.

Ship repair companies use dry docks to pull ships out of the water for maintenance.

With the new dock, Vigor hopes to work on larger ships, including cruise ships that pass Oregon on their way to and from Alaska, said Chief Executive Frank Foti.

The dock was scheduled to arrive in March but encountered construction delays. Two ships awaiting maintenance are queued at Swan Island.

Foti said the arrival of the dock marks a turnaround in the company’s fortunes.

It had fewer than 80 workers at the Portland shipyard in the mid-1990s and sold a similar dry dock in 2001 to raise money to pay creditors. It went to the Bahamas.

The new dock is due to cross the Columbia River bar Sunday morning and arrive in Portland on Monday.

The company said boaters are being advised to keep their distance to ensure safety.

The heavy lift vessel Blue Marlin transits the Columbia River past Astoria, Ore., on its way to Portland, Aug. 24, 2014.