In 2016, the bulk carrier MV Benita was headed to Durban, South Africa, carrying 145 tons of fuel – but on June 17, it ran aground and became stranded.

With the weather conditions treacherous, and time of the essence, Five Oceans Salvage (FOS) was brought in to assist with the salvage process. Based in Greece, this international salvage, towage, wreck removal, and emergency response contractor has operated worldwide since 2007. With the support of the ship owner’s underwriters and the Mauritian authorities, FOS aimed to prevent the vessel from running further aground and to remove the fuel from onboard.

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As if these weren’t challenges enough, the team’s efforts were further complicated by the MV Benita’s location: it was grounded on a reef that formed waves of up to eight meters around the stranded vessel, making it impossible for tugs to get near enough to attach FOS’s steel towing wires.

The only option? Transporting ropes via helicopter. For tug master Captain Kyriakos Goudas, the choice was clear. “Ropes made with Dyneema® were the obvious solution: light enough for the job, while providing the strength we needed for the refloating efforts.”

Dyneema® offers a lightweight solution

The inherent properties of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™, mean that ropes made with Dyneema® are as strong as steel, but seven times lighter. Not only do they enable faster and safer handling, but Dyneema®-based ropes are more durable, are UV resistant, and show extraordinary performance even in extreme conditions.

In the case of the MV Benita, two FOS tugs were equipped with Kapaneema Plus ropes made with Dyneema® (400 meters; 64 mm; 300 mT) and manufactured by D. Koronakis S.A. As well as delivering the inherent advantages of Dyneema® fiber, the ropes’ dual-color jackets allowed the crew to identify, and remove, twists along the towing line, while still protecting the Dyneema® core.

“The ease of handling of the Dyneema®-based ropes sped up the operation without compromising the safety of my crew,” says Goudas. “There’s no doubt they made all the difference to the success of our mission!”

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“We’re extremely satisfied with not only the breaking load but also the longevity of our Kapaneema Plus ropes, made using Dyneema® fiber. We’re particularly impressed that we’ve received and re-tested ropes that maintain their original properties after more than 10 years of use.”

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