December 18, 2017

Gold Rush: A $194B Gold Salvage Operation

Mike Bisset, Aleron Subsea Technical Director.

Mike Bisset, Aleron Subsea Technical Director.

During World War I and World War II there were an estimated 7,500 merchant ships were sunk, 700 of which were carrying shipments of gold under U.K. Government direction, leaving an estimatd $194 billion in gold lying underwater.

Britannia’s Gold Ltd. was created finance the recovery of targeted cargoes and return them to the UK for the benefit of the government, investors and merchant marine charities, and Aleron Subsea -- a Remotely Operated Vehicle specialist -- has been chosen to participate in the hunt, using its AUXROV subsea system.
Aleron and the AUXROV were selected by James Fisher Marine and Britannia’s Gold Ltd. to assist with a high-profile salvage operation.
 
The AUXROV work scope comprised over 850 lifts, moving over 500 tons of debris with three different hydraulic grabs, and providing real time information on the grabbed materials. During simultaneous operations with two work class ROV systems, it then provided power and assistance in dredging operations on the wreck. Remaining in the water for up to 90 hours at certain stages, the AUXROV was able to enter several constrained, hard to reach areas of the site assisting in the overall efficiency of the operation.
 
“This was a complex working environment within which the AUXROV has been able to demonstrate its value and efficiency," said Mike Bisset, Aleron Subsea Technical Director. "The system can be used for a vast range of subsea excavation, clearance, survey and tooling tasks and on this project, was able to demonstrate its capability.” 
 
United KingdomfinanceU.K. government