(Seattle; Nov. 1, 2001) – Seattle-based Crowley Marine Services continues to support the U.S. Navy’s Office of the Superintendent of Salvage (SUPSALV) as prime contractor for Phase II of its Ehime Maru recovery project. Phase II, which began in mid October, involves support of the Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One (MDSU) for recovery operations of the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru, which sank in February after a U.S. submarine resurfaced beneath it off the coast of Honolulu.
State and federal laws do not allow for the ship to be left in shallow water or returned to its original location when the Navy’s recovery operations are complete. Therefore, upon completion of the recovery effort, Crowley will perform environmental cleanup up of the Ehime Maru as needed, and will support the sealing of the vessel’s compartments for relocation to its final resting place. Crowley will also lift and move the vessel from its current shallow water recovery location to its final deep-water resting-place 13 miles off the coast of Hawaii in approximately 6,000 feet of water.
Phase I of the project, which was handled by the Dutch recovery company SMIT TAK, is now complete. It involved raising the vessel from its original resting-place at a 2,000-foot depth, and transporting it to the shallow water dive site off the coast of Honolulu. Crowley provided transportation support of equipment for SMIT TAK during Phase I, and took over for Phase II of the project at the new shallow water site in approximately 115 feet of water about a mile south of Honolulu International Airport.
Crowley’s Todd Busch, contracts manager, and Mike Rampolla, project manager, have overseen the Crowley team working on both Phase I and Phase II of the project. So far approximately 36 Crowley Marine Services personnel have been involved with the project, along with more than 15 subcontractors and vendors under contract with Crowley.
Under the Navy contract, Crowley’s logistics support vessel CMC 450-10, tug Sea Valor, barge 250-6 and tug Sea Cloud have served as support vessels and to transport crucial equipment for the project from the mainland to Hawaii. The Sea Cloud is currently transporting gear used during phase I, that is no longer in use, back from Hawaii to the mainland.
During Phase II, which began October 15, Navy divers began using Crowley’s logistics support barge CMC 450-10 as a dive platform. The first of two Navy scuba teams from the MDSU entered the shallow-water recovery site in mid October to thoroughly survey the Ehime Maru’s exterior. The CMC 450-10 serves the divers as a base of operations, and is being kept at a six-point moor above the sunken vessel. Because the barge is outfitted with winches and anchors, Crowley is capable of positioning it in fixed mooring of this kind at the offshore location.
At this time Navy divers have installed two inclinometer devices used to assure the ships incline, and ladders at the port side of the Ehime Maru for use by surface-supplied divers. They have also attached marker buoys to the vessel to help identify the position of the ships bow and stern on the surface, and have cleared the site of hazards and obstructions on the ships exterior and commenced surface supplied diving from Crowley’s barge CMC 450-10.
In addition to serving as a diving platform, the vessel is also equipped to serve as a base for environmental clean up, should the need arise. A three-month environmental study showed that no significant environmental impact would result from the planned recovery of the boat from its current location to the recovery site.
About the Equipment Being Deployed for the Ehime Maru Project
CMC 450-10 Logistics Support Barge
The 13,000 DWT barge (400 feet long and 100 feet wide) is equipped with a myriad of equipment and amenities, including living accommodations for 84, a helicopter pad, a fixed 50-ton pedestal crane and a 150-ton crawler crane. Theres a fully loaded galley, recreation room, business office, conference room, workshop, an infirmary, a rescue vessel and full fire-fighting capabilities. The barge is outfitted with winches and anchors, enabling it to be positioned in a fixed mooring at an offshore location. The barge is fully self contained for work at remote offshore locations.
This single-deck 5,970 DWT vessel (250 feet long and 76 feet wide) is designed to handle cargo, equipment and modules of all shapes and sizes. This ocean going barge is equipped with a breakwater and classed by the American Bureau of Shipping.
Tug Sea Valor
This 128 5 (38 wide) tug is powerful and designed for open-ocean towing. She puts out 175,000 pounds of bollard pull ahead with 5,750 maximum continuous brake horsepower. Double-drum towing winches hold 2,200 and 3,000 of 2 -inch wire rope. The tug has numerous control stations, a large fuel capacity (183,000 gallons) and is equipped with Kort nozzles and a retractable-boom hydraulic crane.
Tug Sea Cloud
This 126 (34 wide) tug has twin screws and is fitted with two double-drum tow winches, making it well suited for open-ocean towing and anchor handling. She puts out 107,200 pounds of bollard pull ahead and 4,800 maximum continuous brake horsepower. Tow wires consists of 3,000 of 2 -inch wire rope on one drum and 2,200 of 2 -inch wire rope on the other drums. Fuel capacity is 75,000 gallons.
Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in 1892, is a privately owned and family controlled company engaged in a diverse group of marine transportation related businesses. The company has approximately 5,000 employees worldwide, revenues about $1 billion annually, and operates more than 300 vessels in more than 35 countries and island nations.
Crowley’s background in salvage and wreck removal projects has been extensive over the years. Some of the recent emergency service projects the company has handled include the extraction of the ship New Carissa from the beach in Coos Bay, Ore.; the salvage of the Hyundai No. 12 and Kiroshima, both of which ran aground in Alaskan waters; and the extraction of the ex-USS Tortuga from a marine sanctuary near San Miguel Island in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Additional information about Crowley may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.