Inland Salvage Inc. Completes Lightering and Salvage Operations of Sunken Hopper Barge.
Inland Salvage Inc.recently completed the removal of approximately 1000 tons of structural scrap steel from a sunken hopper barge and subsequent salvage of the barge which had been obstructing a loading dock on the Mississippi River near LaPlace, LA. Immediately upon being notified by the dock's owner that Inland Salvage Inc. (ISI) had been appointed as the salvor, ISI responded to the sinking of the 195' hopper barge laden with 1,000 tons of scrap metal when the barge sank. ISI quickly mobilized salvage equipment and personnel and were on scene within 3 hours of receiving the notice to commence operations.
A dive survey was conducted and the casualty was found to be buckled, sitting on the river bottom, and listing to port 6 feet. The casualty was buckled 90 feet aft of the bow head log. The barge was found to be resting on river bottom with bow up river and hull parallel to the dock. There was approximately 35 feet of water over the top of cargo bin wall. Due to previously scheduled incoming vessels, time was of the essence. Inland Salvage Inc. crews conducted 24hr operations, lightering scrap metal from the sunken barge and performing dive surveys throughout the 9 day evolution. Once ISI dive teams and the salvage master determined the majority of scrap had been recovered, rigging was installed and ISI Heavy Lift L A-Frames "Large Marge" and "Big Al" were moved into position. Upon lift and dewatering, the casualty was found compromised and unseaworthy. In order to clear the dock for incoming traffic, the casualty was moved under hook 1/4 mile downriver. The barge was then lifted and placed on a receiver barge for future investigation.
Daily safety and job task meetings were conducted to insure that all participants in the salvage and wreck removal were aware and prepared for the daily activities. The resources of all personnel were directed towards one common goal – a well-planned and safely executed operation.