The USS Cole was transported on the Blue Marlin, which was owned by Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT) a Norwegian company, before being sold to Dockwise a couple of years later. Her she is in OHT colours and with the Cole on deck:
I was MWS while loading Power barges on her in the Philippines and Singapore a few months later and the Chief Mate loved to tell about the paranoia that transpired, first during the loading operation off Aden. (To shallow to do so inside the harbour)
Their last load had been two USN Mine Hunters from the States to Bahrain. (With a contingent of Navy personnel as “riders” on the B.M.) But apparently the Navy had forgotten to tell the CIA contingent that was sent to protect the loading operation that this Norwegian ship had a full crew of Russians.
When the Mate went on the Tannoy to give some instructions to his crew in his most commanding Russian voice, the CIA guys apparently got shocked and was looking rather confused and bewildered.
Again, when they got to Pensacola, Fl. somebody wanted to ban them from entering the harbour. She had wait outside until it was explained that the only place in the vicinity with water depth enough to submerge for discharge was a deep hole dredged for the purpose near the Naval Base, where the BM had loaded rigs several times before.
Both Dockwise and OHT still use Baltic Russian crew, many of whom have been on these ships for decades and are very skilled in the complex operation that is regularly performed by these highly specialized vessels.
BTW; Dockwise and OHT are the two companies from NATO countries that have the vessels and skills to perform such transports.
BM in Dockwise colours and after jumbonizing, here submerged to maximum for loading the Noble Jim Day at first daylight. (Singapore, Sept. 2009):
A “Floating For’c’led”:
The loadout weight was 42000 m.t. but transport weight was 44,300 m.t. after bunkering and taking the thrusters back on board. (carried on deck)
NJD on deck after loading and ready to depart, bound for Curacao via Cape:
BM with a load of River Barge hulls (“casco”) from China to Rotterdam:
Here is one of the COSCO vessels with a Large Offshore vessel hull on deck:
The hull was transported from China to Norway for completion.
No reason to worry about find a HLV capable of carrying the Fizt