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Inland Salvage completes lightering and salvage of sunken hopper barge

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inlandsalvmicroDaphne, Ala., headquartered Inland Salvage Inc. recently completed the removal of approximately 1,000 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 on notification by the dock’s owner that it had been appointed as the salvor, Inland Salvage Inc. (ISI)responded to the sinking of the 195 ft hopper barge, which had been laden with 1,000 tons of scrap metal when sank.

ISI quickly mobilized salvage equipment and personnel which were on scene within three 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.

With previously scheduled incoming vessels set to arrive, time was of the essence. Inland Salvage Inc. crews worked round the clock, lightering scrap metal from the sunken barge and performing dive surveys throughout the nine day operation.

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.

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 a quarter mile downriver. The barge was then lifted and placed on a receiver barge for future investigation.

October 11, 2011

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