Donjon to Salvage Archeological Sites
Donjon Marine, Co., Inc. has been awarded two separate contracts for salvage work on archaeological sites in Texas and N.Y.
On October 6, the U.S. Navy awarded an archeological site removal contract to Donjon to perform diving, clam-shell dredging and wreck removal services to a Civil War gunboat – the USS Westfield – that was sunk by Southern fire during the Battle of Galveston in 1863. The sunken vessel lies in 40 feet of water in Galveston Bay in Texas. The site has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Planning for the project began in mid-October. The site work, which is scheduled to begin in early November, will be performed with the use of local equipment managed by Donjon Salvage, Engineering and Dredging personnel and involves removal of Civil War artifacts and munitions such as shells, bullets, cannons and other materiel, as well as dredging of the Bay near the wreckage. An explosives team from the U.S. Department of Defense is also involved in the handling of the munitions from the wreck, as well as mapping the debris site. The job is expected to be completed by mid- to late-December.
Donjon was also recently awarded a second contract to remove the sunken Ellis Island Ferry that was used to transport immigrants to and from Ellis Island’s processing facility in New York. To be performed in conjunction with the U.S. National Park Service, Donjon will begin work the last week of October to first perform a dive survey to determine the location of three separate pieces of the ferry to be removed and redelivered. The ferry’s engine, boiler and drive train will be removed with the help of underwater burning equipment. Donjon will also dredge the area around the ferry and air-lift the material for disposal. The last phase of the contract calls for removing the last remnants of the ferry with the use of a chopper beam.
Certain pieces of the wreckage may be included in the Ellis Island museum.
Donjon’s dredge Newark Bay, along with several hopper barges, dive crew and salvage masters, will be utilized for this job and it is expected to be finished by the end of December.