Salters Cartage was involved from start to finish in the recovery of 200,000 litres of fuel oil from the stricken Jody F Millennium off Gisborne in 2002. This was NZ’s largest environmental incident.
A call late one Friday evening from the Maritime Safety Authority looking for hire pumps quickly escalated into a full environmental emergency alert.
Our rapid response to the initial request led to an order for as many pumps and hoses as we could supply. We immediately dispatched three truck and trailer units, a tender to carry cages full of hoses, pumping equipment and fittings with air compressor in tow.
It was all hands to the pumps! We sent extra staff so we could man the vehicles 24/7, and we used unpacked cages to remove goods from ship to shore. Our trucks, which were of course fitted with their own pumping equipment, were used to unload the inflatable barges filled with oil.
Our fleet of trucks transferred the heavy fuel oil to our Auckland depot for processing, transport and disposal in Holcim cement kilns.
A week after the rescue operation was completed, we were called in again by Maritime Safety Authority to clean the inflatable barges used in the clean-up. We moved the rafts to our Auckland depot, and inflated them and set them up with a crane. Our staff then chemically cleaned the 12m-long barges and repacked them for return to Gisborne.