Recent announcements by the company have alluded to BGL reassessing salvage and vessel solutions prior to renewing its cargo recovery activities later this quarter. This also involves detailed evaluation of existing and all new research data and  further detailed assessment off future weather patterns which are of such importance to planning sailing and salvage dates.


For BGL to optimise capital investment and expenditure, strict risk assessment of all factors must be undertaken in advance. With the assistance of James Fisher Marine Services, BGL utilises a programmable system called ‘Mermaid’ which allows for the input of project information such as

  • The location at sea of operations
  • The nature of the subsea operation
  • The intended vessel to be used for the operation
  • The identified equipment to be utilised
  • The time of year and expected duration of the project

Mermaid then assesses the operations against 27 years of historical met-ocean weather data and give probabilities of success in return.


  • Develop a project baseline based on initially selected vessels, ports, methods and processes.
  • Simulate the operation against 27 years of previous hind-cast weather data.
  • Evaluate task durations, identify the weather risk drivers.
  • Optimise the project – giving option to change out vessels, ports, methods or processes.
  • Re-simulate and compare with the baseline.
  • Develop an optimised project with the lowest possible weather risk profile.
  • Make procurement and project decisions based on solid analysis – reduce the risk of project cost over runs.

BGL has recently utilised Mermaid to assess its potential start date for the 2018 season; having inputed the required data for a start date in mid-February, and again for a start in early April, the results clearly showed BGL would be experience a circa 50% downtime for bad weather with the early start compared to a much reduced downtime of 15% for the later start. This analysis greatly enhances  forward planning and ultimately the probability of success.


Having so many potential targets in the research database has the potential to create conflicting views as to which ones should have priority over others. As a result, the winter months have allowed the BGL team to devise a salvage criteria matrix which provides for any potential shipwreck target to be further ‘in-depth’ assessed as to its viability for salvage. This methodology pinpoints areas that may cause certain problems with any given target, eg, salvage challenges, presence of and dealing with munitions or environmental issues.


BGL is now fully engaged in the planning process, with salvage vessel and equipment provision currently being addressed ahead of what is hoped to be a lengthy and successful 2018 season.