Crews prepare to salvage sunken barge near Bay Bridge

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SAN FRANCISCO) — A unified command comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Vortex Marine Construction and Bay Area Rapid Transit District is moving forward with efforts to prepare the sunken 112-foot freight barge Vengeance for salvage and fuel removal operations.

Global Diving and Salvage will begin preparations Thursday to rotate the barge upright on the sea floor, an operation known as a parbuckle.

Preparations for the parbuckle may take several weeks and will involve divers rigging anchors to the sea floor and to the Vengeance barge. Once all components have been rigged, tension will gradually be applied to the anchors to rotate the barge upright.

Information gathered during the parbuckle operation will support development of a second plan, which will involve refloating and towing the barge to a facility for fuel removal.

“Our goal with this operation is to mitigate any environmental threat posed by the fuel remaining on the Vengeance while protecting the subterranean BART Transbay Tube and ensuring the safety of responders and the public,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jeremiah Winston, Coast Guard incident commander.

Mariners are requested to abide by the 350-meter (1,148-foot) safety zone and monitor local media channels, as the safety zone is subject to change. Marine information broadcasts to local mariners will continue while the safety zone is in effect.

Vengeance capsized April 7 south of the Bay Bridge.

By Professional Mariner Staff