A member of the American Salvage Association (ASA) quickly responded to the MV Lee III, a supply boat that collided with a container ship and sunk February 21 near the southwest pass of the Mississippi River, a key channel for shipping. The MV Lee III was towed away, the river was open for one-way traffic within 96 hours, and the wreck was fully cleared within a week after the incident. Five crewmembers were lost in the incident; three of the deceased crewman were removed form the wreck prior to its raising.
"When there is a marine emergency, the professional salvage community responds quickly and acts to protect against further human injury and/or loss of life, as well as to protect the marine environment, and mitigate damage to the ship, her cargo and other property. The MV Lee III incident cost approximately $3 million for each day that the local Port of New Orleans was disrupted. By planning, organizing, and then responding to the unique challenges of marine salvage and wreck removal, our members can expect to attain the highest levels of project success and get local environments back to business quickly. It is critically important that the U.S. Coast Guard promulgate its new and long awaited salvage and firefighting regulations to assure that all responses to casualties in American waters are successful," said ASA President Dick Fairbanks.