FORT PIERCE, Florida - The Navy's Supervisor of Salvage and
Diving (SUPSALV) removed a barge that sank in the Fort Pierce ship channel, 100
yards inside the end of the ocean jetties, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
announced April 23.
Removing debris from the waterways improves safety for
all marine traffic.
"The channel is heavily trafficked and the uncertain
tide conditions where the ocean meets the inlet provided unique conditions for
the operation," said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Neverosky, SUPSALV assistant for
salvage. "Working with the U.S. Coast Guard we were able to finalize a
four point mooring plan, set a safety zone and move equipment for the five day
The Supervisor of Salvage and Diving, a NAVSEA
directorate, responded to a request for assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE) as part of an inter-service support agreement to provide
salvage support when the USACE is unable to conduct the task. Once on scene, SUPSALV and its contractor
(Donjon Marine, Inc.) developed a plan to clear the channel and recover the
barge and debris, using Donjon's floating crane, Columbia and the tug Mary
"The team used side scan sonar was utilized to
locate the sunken barge and get GPS coordinates for the exact location.
Additional GPS on the Columbia allowed the SUPSALV team to know what pieces of
the barge were being cut. After the
barge was broken into manageable sections, the team began around- the- clock
efforts to remove segments of the broken barge with a heavy lift bucket,
placing them on Columbia's deck. "
"After the final lift, the USACE conducted another
side scan survey of the channel and concluded the entire barge was
recovered," said Neverosky. "Once the scan verified the channel was
clear, we began demobilization and directed the scrap be transferred ashore for
SUPSALV is responsible for all aspects of U.S. Navy ocean
engineering, including salvage, in-water ship repair, contracting, towing,
diving safety, and equipment maintenance and procurement.