Crews to retrieve sunken barge under Bay Bridge

- More than three months after a barge sank in San Francisco Bay, south of the Bay Bridge, dive teams are out on another barge getting ready to haul the wreck out of the water.

By Tuesday, divers pulled out the top pat of the crane that was on the barge that sank in 40 feet of water. The salvage operation is difficult.

"This is very challenging. The main challenge we have is the water condition. The water currents are pretty extreme," said Kerry Walsh, project manager for Global Diving & Salvage, the company hired to remove the barge. 

The 112 foot freight barge called the "Vengeance" sank last April during a heavy storm. The barge was there to help in an anti-corrosion project in the BART Transbay Tube. Bart says the sunken barge did not damage the tube.  

"Where the barge came down is in 20-25 feet of sediment between the tube and the barge. That really protected the tube from any damage," said BART spokesman Chris Filippi. Salvage crews have already removed 27-hundred gallons of fuel from the vengeance.

Before removing the crane, divers cut the barge in half. The pieces each weigh 300 tons. They will be lifted out by crane one at a time.

"It's very meticulous. The visibility is only one or two feet. And it's very difficult. And it happens during slack tide which is only four times a day," said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warants Officer Jeremiah Winston

Authorities say the sunken barge did not cause any environmental damage. They say they should have the two pieces out of the water by Thursday or Friday. 

 

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