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Taiwan Ocean Research Institute (TORI) performed a sonar survey to assist salvaging of shipping containers falling into Port of Kaohsiung

In the afternoon of July 9th, 13 shipping containers tumbled off the cargo ship Seamax New Haven of Evergreen Marine Corp. berthed at Wharf No. 115, Port of Kaohsiung when hoisting. These containers would jeopardize the safety of navigation if not being salvaged completely as they had blocked the main channel.

    Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan International Port Corporation (TIPC) urgently contacted two maritime engineering companies for container salvage. But the search didn’t go on successfully. Therefore, later on that day TIPC asked Taiwan Ocean Research Institute (TORI) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) for help. Finally, around 4 a.m. of July 10, all shipping containers had been salvaged thanks to the timely assistance of TORI. Mission was completed in 6 hours, from getting the mobilization request to case closed.

    “Due to the poor underwater visibility of nighttime operation and the limited time for salvage, we decided to use a portable towed side-scan sonar after discussion and formed a team of two colleagues specialized in scientific instruments for the task”, said Huang Chun-chieh (黃俊傑), associate engineer of TORI.

Portable towed side-scan sonar. (Photo credits: NAR Labs)Portable towed side-scan sonar. (Photo credits: NAR Labs)

    Wang Chau-chang (王兆璋), director of TORI at NARLabs, said that TORI has good resources and experience in underwater exploration. Her main task is to serve the academia and conduct research on marine science. In spite of this, TORI is more than willing to reach out to government agencies when an emergency occurs.