Salvage crew begins lifting sunken tug from Alaska channel

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

(JUNEAU, Alaska) (Feb. 22) — Hoisting of the tug Challenger in Gastineau Channel was scheduled to resume today. The operation was suspended Sunday to allow Unified Command to meet with Global Diving & Salvage Inc. to re-evaluate the dewatering strategy. 

After rigging and successfully testing the lifting gear, the salvage crew partially hoisted Challenger on Sunday.  Due to the position of the tug when raised, the crew was unable to complete dewatering as planned. The salvage crew and the Unified Command determined it was prudent to stay operations for the night and continue the hoisting process in the morning.

“As we work with our team of professionals during this complex operation, we must remain flexible to ensure safety,” said Capt. Shannan Greene, federal on-scene coordinator. “We hope this good weather continues and we look forward to making more progress tomorrow.”

For more information on the tug Challenger removal, contact the Joint Information Center at 907-463-2835 or visit the Sector Juneau Facebook page at

Editor's note: Challenger was a tug and passenger boat for the U.S. Army until it was decommissioned and sold in 1946. It later operated as a "bunk and breakfast" in Seattle. It sank last year in Gastineau Channel.

By Professional Mariner Staff