On the evening of the 2th of June 2004 the vessel « Sea Trust », a cargo ship for the transportation of cars with destination Beiruth, capsized in the harbour of Antwerp.
A fire started in a car which was placed on deck 2. The extreme production of smoke complicated the extinguish activities which resulted - in conjunction with the fire extinguishing water - eventually in the capsizing of the Sea Trust. Fortunately the ship's chimney touched the quay wall which prevented the "Sea Trust" from falling over complety.
First of all measures had to be taken to avoid any kind of pollution of surface water. Following the salvage plan, fuel tanks were carefully closed to avoid leakage of oil. Thereafterwards, divers closed the underwater part of the ship. Slings were placed under the “ Sea Trust”-stern so that cars could be safely discharged from the upper deck of the vessel. Besides, pumps were placed in the cargo space so the pumping/testing could be started a few days after the incident. The divers' work was executed properly, as was shown when pumps were started up. The water in the cargo room falled -off quickly. After filling the ballast tanks at port-side, in combination with an increase of the lifting power of the Norma, the “ Sea Trust ” could be released from the quay – were it was still lending on with his chimney and bridge. With the slings in place and Norma connected, the vessels list could be reduced from 50° to 20°. When ships' side doors came above water level, they could be opened safely and more cars could be unloaded from the ship. Eventually after pumping out the cargo space and the stern, Scaldis and Wijsmuller succeeded to right and raise the " Sea Trust " complety.
The most difficult part during this salvage operation was for the divers to find their way between decks, cars and other obstructions to place the pumps.
After 7 days of hard work - this salvage operation was foreseen to take 10 days - approximately 150 cars were discharged from the vessel and a total amount of 15.000 m³ of water was pumped out of the ship.
The “ Sea Trust ” was redelivered to her owners safely afloat along side the quay.