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The epic salvage of the MV Fitzroy


MV Fitzroy, a 35 metre, 110 tonne prawn trawler caught fire and sunk in the pristine Shark Bay Marine Park, in 17 metres of water. Initially responding to an emergency environmental pollution hazard, the Department of Transport engaged Franmarine to mobilise a salvage operation to site and remove some 4000 litres of diesel fuel on board.

Technical solution

The dive team and equipment was quickly mobilised to site. Preliminary inspections were hampered due to a number of large predators attracted to the holds full of bait, however the diesel fuel was eventually removed from the casualty and transferred without spill to a support vessel. Once the hazard was removed, salvage planning moved into top gear given the vessel represented a unique challenge due to her weight and depth.


After two weeks of welding lifting points and assembling more than 130 tonne of air lift bags the MV Fitzroy was eventually refloated, pumped dry and returned to her home port of Carnarvon.

The MV Fitzroy salvage is one of the deepest and heaviest salvages successfully completed in Western Australia.

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