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Sunken Ship

Supreme Court Rules Titanic Still Viewable

The Supreme Court refused to reopen a case last week from a Virginia appeals court allowing adventure-tour operators to conduct deep-sea excursions to the wreck of Titanic. The high court let stand a decision handed down in March by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which held that RMS Titanic Inc., the company holding exclusive rights to salvage the great ship's artifacts, could not prohibit "visiting, viewing, searching, surveying, photographing and obtaining images of the wreck or the wreck site as long as these activities do not constitute any salvage effort or interfere with RMST's salvage rights." Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. The ship's wreckage, about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, was not discovered until 1985. R.M.S. Titanic Inc. has since salvaged thousands of artifacts from the sunken ship, which it has exhibited throughout the world. It has not sold any of the artifacts to private collectors. U.S. District Judge Calvitt Clarke Jr. in Norfolk, Va., upheld the company's exclusive salvage rights to Titanic several times and, last year, barred a British company, Deep Ocean Expeditions Ltd., from catering to tourists willing to pay $32,500 per person to dive down to and photograph the wreckage. Allowing such visits would unduly harm the salvage company, Clarke ruled, because it needs exclusive photographic rights to finance its work.


Sunken Ships to be Considered for Storm Barriers

Marine scientists and Louisiana officials are floating the idea of sinking some of Uncle Sam's cast-off ships along the water's edge to create a steel barrier against hurricane flooding. The barrier would be made up of aging and obsolete tankers, research vessels and cargo ships. Since Hurricane Katrina hit, Louisiana is looking at every option for shoring up its storm defenses especially quick fixes. Levees take years to build, and restoring lost marshes and cypress forests even longer.


Sailor Saved from Sunken Tugboat

ChinaDaily.com reported that a sailor aboard a sunken tugboat was rescued after a 39-hour stay at the bottom of the Yangtze River. Guo Linyuan, 31, a villager from Yaowan town of Xuzhou, a city in northern Jiangsu Province in East China, was left 14 meters below the water’s surface after an unidentified watercraft crashed into a group of tugboats at about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday near Zhenjiang, causing three tugboats to sink to the bottom of the river


Sunken Drydock Blocks Shipping Channel

A Louisiana shipping channel used to supply crude oil to two big Gulf coast refineries has reopened to most ships but very large vessels may still not be able to get through, the U.S. Coast Guard reported on Monday. A sunken drydock has been blocking the shipping channel in the Calcasieu River, just north of the Intracoastal Waterway, since Tuesday, preventing deepdraft vessels, such as crude oil tankers, from passing through the area


Pumping of Remaining Erika Fuel Set To Begin

The first of five pollution-fighting vessels was to arrive in the French port of Brest on Monday to prepare to pump out tons of viscous fuel oil still lying in the hold of the sunken tanker Erika. TotalFinaElf is bringing in the vessels as part of a massive clean-up program after the Erika, the Maltese-registered tanker it contracted to transport 25,000 tons of thick fuel oil, broke up and sank last December. As part of a clean-up operation costing the company about $70 million


T&T Marine Salvage Surveys Sunken Vessel

Photo courtesy T&T Marine Salvage

T&T Marine Salvage conducted survey operations of a sunken passenger vessel in 220 ft of water near Limbones Island. T&T Marine Salvage mobilized an ROV operator and compact ROV System that surveyed the sunken vessel and located key entry points, assisting in the recovery of victims. The operation was a joint effort with the Philippine Coast Guard and Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation. “Due to the depth of the wreck at 220 ft below sea level


Ship Channel Opening Attempt Fails

The U.S. Coast Guard failed in its weekend attempt to reopen the Lake Charles, Louisiana, ship channel to all ships including large crude oil tankers, a spokesman said. The Coast Guard will now dismantle the sunken dry dock that has since mid-June stopped crude tankers getting to two big Gulf Coast refineries served by the channel. Work will start on Wednesday and take three to four weeks. Currently large crude vessels still cannot get to Conoco Inc


Sunken Canadian Ship Polluting Alaskan Coast

According to a Feb. 24 report from The Gazette, a sunken Canadian steamship that offered luxury cruises for decades along the British Columbia coast, then served a crucial role during the Second World War transporting troops, supplies and Jewish refugees, is now polluting the waters of a major Pacific Ocean inlet. The Princess Kathleen, a Canadian Pacific cruise ship sank in a storm off southeast Alaska nearly 60 years ago and has been identified as the source of a persistent oil slick in


Coast Guard Update: Sunken Drydock in Guam

According to a report from Pacific Daily News, Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team members assisted with salvage operations for the sunken dry dock, Big Blue, in Apra Harbor by helping with a fuel transfer Jan. 6. Rough seas and high surfs caused the dry dock to take on too much water in its tanks, according to Pacific Daily News reports. Approximately 13,000 gallons of diesel oil and 2,000 gallons of waste oil will be transferred from the dry dock. (Source: Pacific Daily News)


Registration Open for Wrecks of the World II: June 6-7

Registration is now open for the American Salvage Association (ASA) and the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA) co-sponsored conference, “Wrecks of the World II (WOW II): Evaluating and Addressing Potential Underwater Threats” to be held on Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7 at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in the Washington, DC area (Linthicum Heights, MD) USA


Capsized Boats Leave Mile-long Sheen in Mobile

Vessels were being urged to travel carefully through the Mobile shipping channel on Tuesday after two boats containing 2,000 gallons of oil capsized the previous night, leaving a mile-long sheen, the U.S. Coast Guard Mobile Sector said. Five crew members were rescued from the 52-foot (15-metre)


Size Restrictions Lifted in Mobile, Alabama

  Salvage teams and the Army Corps of Engineers have positively identified the location of the sunken Dredge Tender NICHOLAS on the western (greenside) toe of the Mobile Ship Channel just south of Light 69. According to the U.S. Coast, Sector Mobile


WWII Wrecks Found off North Carolina

The German U-576 departs Saint-Nazaire, France, on the Atlantic coast, circa 1940-1942. The submarine was sunk in 1942 by aircraft fire after attacking and sinking the Nicaraguan freighter Bluefields and two other ships off North Carolina. (Credit: With permission from Ed Caram)

German U-boat 576 and freighter Bluefields found within 240 yards A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were


Sunken Barge Salvage Stops Traffic on Chicago River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is restricting vessel traffic on the Chicago River to allow for salvage of a sunken barge. All cargo has been removed from the sunken barge in the Chicago River between the Lake and Randolph Street bridges and divers are currently in the water to conduct a survey of


Eleven Missing After Hong Kong Collision

Eleven crew of a Chinese cargo ship are missing following a collision with a large container ship in the waters off Hong Kong on Monday, authorities said. Hong Kong is one of the world's busiest shipping channels, although serious accidents are rare.


Diver Dies in Korean Ferry Shipwreck Search

Capsized Sewol: Image Korea Coast Guard

A diver lost consciousness and died on Tuesday during the search operation for victims still missing after last month's South Korean ferry disaster. The diver had lost radio contact five minutes after diving to fix guideline ropes on the fifth deck of the sunken ferry, according to Ko Myung-seok


James Fisher Partners with Mammoet Salvage

Photo courtesy of James Fisher

James Fisher Marine Services Ltd (JFMS), part of James Fisher and Sons plc  has announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with Mammoet Salvage B.V  a division of Mammoet. Operating for over 200 years and with a global office network


Columbus' Santa Maria May Have Been Found off Haiti

A replica of the Santa Maria (Library of Congress photo)

Underwater explorer Barry Clifford said he found sunken off Haiti what he thinks is the wreck of Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus’ long lost flagship from his first journey to the Americas. Clifford, working for an operation funded by the History Channel


Suspected WWII Sea Mine Found off Kiribati

Suspected Explosive Remnant of War was discovered in late May near the main wharf in Betio Lagoon, South Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati, beneath the wreck of the MV Tovota by salvage workers from The Dive Centre Pty Ltd Fiji. The Australian Defense Force has been requested by Kiribati authorities to dispose of the object as it poses a potential hazard to local shipping.

A team of Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel has headed to the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati to dispose of a suspected World War II sea mine. The object was discovered beneath a sunken vessel that is being salvaged by commercial operators in Betio Lagoon, South Tarawa.


Australian Divers Remove Potential WWII Mine

Australian Defense photo

The Royal Australian Navy reported that its clearance divers have successfully disposed of a suspect object in Betio Lagoon off South Tarawa, in the Republic of Kiribati. Australian Defense previously reported the suspicious item may be a sea mine from World War II.


Company Fined for Oil Spill Near Anacortes

Ecology issues $112,500 penalty for sunken vessel.   American Gold Seafoods faces a $112,500 penalty for an oil spill caused by the accidental sinking of its vessel, the Clam Digger, in July 2013 near Anacortes. The Washington Department of Ecology investigated the cause of the sinking


Family Finds Sunken Treasure Off Florida Coast

A Florida family scavenging for sunken treasure on a shipwreck has found the missing piece of a 300-year-old gold filigree necklace sacred to Spanish priests, officials said on Tuesday. Eric Schmitt, a professional salvager, was scavenging with his parents when he found the crumpled


Navy Divers Note USS Houston Grave Site Disturbance

Wreath-laying: Photo USN

U.S. Navy underwater archeologists, in conjunction with Indonesian Navy divers, have assessed in an interim report that the wrecked vessel surveyed in the Java Sea in June is "consistent with the identification" of the World War II wreck of the cruiser USS Houston (CA 30)


USCG Rescue Fisherman from Western Lake Erie

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  The Coast Guard rescued a fisherman from western Lake Erie after he launched an emergency distress flare Wednesday afternoon, near South Bass Island, Ohio. The Coast Guard is not releasing the name of the man rescued, and there is no Coast Guard imagery for this case.


Two Workboats Sinking Near Mobile Ship Channel

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is responding to two sunken vessels in Mobile Ship Channel north of Gaillard Island, Tuesday. Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders received a call from the crew of the towing vessel, Miss Sammy Lee, reporting the sinking of two vessels






 
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