1994 - 06/01 - June 1st - TOCHAL - IMO7386910 - Tanker - 151225GRT/300068DWT - 347.6 x 53.7 - 1977 Astilleros Astano, El Ferrol, No.242 as MUNDACA - 1984 OCEAN CLOUD, 1984 YUCATAN VALLEY, 1985 UMM AL MADAFA, 1986 TOCHAL - Iranian National Tanker Co. - bound from the Gulf to Europe with 270,000 tonnes of crude, became a casualty off the Cape of Good Hope when her bow structure failed in heavy weather. With the tanker in danger of becoming a total loss a salvage agreement had to be promptly concluded with Pentow Marine whose powerful tug WOLRAAD WOLTEMADE was already on standby. With the vessel at the time some 70 nautical miles west of Dassen Island, a three-man diving team from South African Diving Services (SADS) was flown out to undertake preliminary damage assessment. In the open sea and with a heavy swell running, the divers videotaped the massive damage where the entire 30m x 22m bulbous bow section had sheared off. Having obtained permission for the vessel to take shelter in False Bay, the TOCHAL was towed stem first whilst the dive tender vessel REUNION, with a full diving spread and a 12-man team, was made ready to meet the vessel on its arrival. In the meanwhile, using portable pumps taken out to the TOCHAL, the diving team assisted in pumping oil from the forward fuel tank into empty cargo tanks. As oil was pumped out so the tank filled with sea-water from cracks in the bottom tank plating, caused when the bow fell away. On arriving in False Bay a comprehensive underwater video survey was undertaken whilst preparations were made to transfer the oil cargo to the lighter tanker, OSLO PRINCESS, which was on standby in the bay. With the collision bulkhead acting as a breakwater, diving conditions were very difficult and dangerous as the team worked around the clock for almost four days to trim and cut away damaged plates, most of which were recovered for insurance purposes. With the ship-to-ship transfer of oil underway, the divers were able to commence patching of the holes once the vessel reached a 12m draught. When all the cargo had been removed a 2m x 2m composite patch was secured over a hole near the centreline, just aft of the collision bulkhead whilst a number of smaller 1m x 1m patches were secured over cracks in the bottom of the forward fuel tank. A final video survey of the patches was then undertaken before the TOCHAL was again towed stern first into Cape Town harbour. Once secured there, SADS divers attended to pumping sludge and bunkers from forward tanks and all the patches welded in a further 10 days of underwater operations. Having been thus patched up, the tanker was not repaired but sold for scrap, arriving in Gadani Bay in October 1994.