Giant Pipes Project Norfolk UK

Project Description

Casualty involving 3.5KM of HDPE pipes with a 2.4M diameter. The 7 pipes where being towed from Norway to Algeria when they were hit by a container vessel causing some pipes to break free from the tug and some pipes to break into two parts.  Two pipes remained connected to the tug, Four of the Giant Pipes washed ashore on the coast of Norfolk UK and two pipes were floating around at sea and all needed to be recovered. Dutch Marine handled the total salvage, recovery, removal, transportation and preparing for recycling of the pipes on behalf of the owner in close cooperation with the Maritime Coastguard Agency.

Clients questions and challenges

Multiple HDPE Pipe sections ranging from 325 to 585 meters were lost at Sea and posed an imminent danger to navigation and needed to be searched (using the Royal Air Force), recovered, secured at sea and guarded, brought into port and inspected. Project needed cooperation of 22 Local and Government agencies, NGO’s in two Counties. Fishermen’s claims needed to be handled and situation needed to be under control as soon as possible.



  • 7 HDPE pipes ranging from 325 to 585 m length
  • Total 3525 m of pipe with a diameter of 2400 mm (2.4 m)
  • All pipes recovered and inspected, 2 out of 7 were repaired and returned to Norway
  • 4 sections recovered from the beach/ groynes
  • 7 sections recovered @ Sea, brought near coast and anchored
  • 11 sections towed into Port Lowestoft

Operation Insights

  • 2425 m total length
  • 233 cuts made
  • 1755,55 meters of chain cutting.
  • 218 sections were made
  • 7 towing plugs recovered
  • 7 backend plugs recovered
  • 2 pipes inspected at sea, towing connection renewed and towed back to Norway



  • 1 Project manager
  • 2 Salvage Masters
  • 1 Salvage supervisor
  • 2 Office staff
  • 2 Engineering companies
  • Royal Air Force for assistance locating lost pipes
  • 4 Salvage diving teams existing of 5 pers. each
  • 1 chain saw cutting team
  • 1 Beach support team
  • 1 Shipping Agent
  • 1 owners representative
  • 1 Client support team
  • 1 loss adjuster pipes
  • 1 loss adjuster Fishermen
  • 2 chartered accountants
  • 1 IT Specialist for creating infrastructure
  • 1 Drone and photography team


  • 3 diving support vessels
  • 7 tugs & workboats
  • 2 zodiacs
  • 1 guard vessel
  • 3 excavators


  • 1 Temporary office
  • Rental of 400 m quay in Commercial Port
  • 1 Store warehouse

Duration of the project

Start to finish : 10 weeks


This project is a nice example what can be achieved with TEAM work as for this project Dutch Marine had to manage  many different interest of stakeholders. It couldn`t be done without the constructive cooperation and trust of the Maritime Coastguard Agency, Local Port Authorities ABP, various government agencies, NGO`s and an excellent shipping agency using the local companies to provide all required.  We would like to thank all parties involved for their excellent corporation in this project.

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