The Navy captain
who led the salvage and recovery efforts of the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru in Hawaii was selected as the recipient of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Gold Medal Award for 2001.
Capt. Bert Marsh, Director of Ocean Engineering and Supervisor of Salvage and Diving for Naval Sea Systems Command was selected for this award for his significant contributions to naval engineering for the five year period 1996-2001.
During that time period, Marsh led several high-profile repair, salvage and recovery efforts including the recovery of an Egypt Air commercial airliner following its crash off the coast of New England
in 1999; repair efforts following the grounding of USS Lamoure County (LST 1194) in September 2000; and organizing and engineering the salvage of USS Cole (DDG 67) following the terrorist attack in Yemen. Marsh devised a procedure where Cole could be docked on a heavy lift ship and transported back to the United States for repair.
The success of this procedure led to the development of a new chapter in the U.S. Tow Manual discussing heavy lift procedures - the first of its kind in industry.
Most recently, Marsh engineered and directed the deepest salvage effort of its kind ever: the recovery of the 850-ton Ehime Maru off the coast of Hawaii in 2001. Assembling a team of more than 500 military, contractor, public and diplomatic officials, he developed a recovery plan using remotely operated vehicles and oil field technologies to place the fishing vessel in a set of lift straps at 2,000 feet and then carry it suspended beneath a lift vessel to a safe depth where divers could access it.
Additionally, Marsh led the development of a Windows-based computer program for Navy salvage and engineering operations and is leading the research, development and construction of the next generation of submarine personnel rescue equipment.
Marsh will receive the Gold Medal Award at an ASNE banquet on April 30 in Arlington, Va.
(Source: By JOC David Nagle, Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs)