A salvage team has worked feverishly for nearly three months to find a way to lift and remove the Lone Star, a fishing ship that capsized in Southwest Alaska’s Igushik River on June 30 when its steel hull was breached, according to the Alaska Dispatch.
The Lone Star has lain on its side and stubbornly refused to budge from the muddy riverbed where it is wedged, the article explained. Salvage workers have encountered numerous difficulties, including extreme tides, dangerous currents and poor weather as they try to pry the 78-foot ship loose.
What’s the Salvage Strategy?
The salvage crew, which includes trained divers, plans to insert a urethane foam into the rear section of the ship in an effort to boost the ship’s buoyancy and hopefully get much-needed help releasing the ship from the mud. The crew will also fill the ship’s front compartments with air to aid the process.
Once the ship is removed with the help of a barge and crane, it will be towed to shallow waters, where the water left inside it will be pumped out and the 35,000 pounds of salmon on board will be removed.
Challenging Salvage Operation
The first stage of the salvage operation entailed extracting approximately 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 150 gallons of lube oil, 150 gallons of hydraulic fluid and 250 gallons of gasoline petroleum from the overturned ship.
Even after all the weight from the fuel was removed, the mud still refused to release the ship when workers tried to pull it up with a crane from a barge last month.
Salvage divers have a true challenge on their hands, as they have been working in zero visibility because of the river’s silt content. Divers can only work in 90-minute stints, with dives planned around the ever-changing tides and currents, the article explained.
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(Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Fish & Game via the Alaska Dispatch)
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