Tag Archives: salvage

That time a fighter jet landed on a merchant vessel

Running low on fuel, an emergency landing on the Cargo Ship Alraigo by British Navy Sea Harrier ZA176 and Sub-Lt Ian Watson, June 1983.
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In 2007, Britain’s National Archives released a number of Royal Navy files, and the second inquiry report was finally made public. Noting that Watson had completed only 75 percent of his training before he had been sent to sea, the board blamed Watson’s inexperience, and his commanders for assigning him an airplane “not fully prepared for the sortie,” a reference to radio problems. Nonetheless, Watson was reprimanded and given a desk job.

The total paid salvage claim was £570,000.  The crew of the 2,300-ton Spanish container ship Alraigo won a salvage claim and shared £340,000, with the remaining £230,000 going to the owners of the vessel.

Sub-Lt. Ian Watson eventually acquired 2,000 hours in Sea Harriers and another 900 in F/A-18s before resigning his commission in 1996. Today, he says that media attention embarrassed Royal Navy brass and caused the punishment, but refuses to point fingers. “It was me,” he says. “I was there and that’s where it should stop.”

The Wreck of the Nathan E. Stewart

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I had been home a couple weeks from the San Francisco run and I was at Crawford’s Nautical School taking a course, when the office called with another last minute, hurry up job.  Our job was to tow the D.B. General derrick barge to be used in the salvage of the Nathan E. Stewart.

Early on the morning of October 13, 2016 the Kirby ATB tug and barge ran aground at the entrance to Seaforth Channel approx. 8 miles from the central British Columbia town of Bella Bella.  The site is just as you would enter Seaforth channel from sea coming in from Queen Charolette Sound and Hecate Straight.  With a westerly or southwesterly swell the site is fully exposed to breakers and surge. (sorry for the sideways photos below – I tried everything I could think of to fix it)

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Position in the rocks

An articulated tug and barge (ATB) is a type of tug that fits into the notch at the stern of a barge and locks in with large hydraulic pins.  To learn more about the design, please follow this link: ATB Design by Robert Allen Ltd.

The Stewart was southbound with an empty petroleum barge when she ran hard aground at Edge Reef and Gale Rocks.  The empty barge’s outer hull was breached however when the tug struck the rocks her hull was also breached and she lost one of her shafts and propellers.  It took around four hours for the tug to sink and as she sank, she came out of the notch and disconnected from the barge.  The tug spilled around 66,000 U.S. Gallons of diesel.  The barge was able to be floated off the rocks at high tide and was removed from the wreck site before we arrived.  If you look at the photo of the chart above, you can see a small channel just east of the wreck site called Gale Pass.  Much of the spill washed up on the beaches near the wreck and went into Gale Pass with the tide.

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We arrived with the D.B. General on a Wednesday morning with nearly perfect weather and the General crew went straight to work making last minute preparations to their equipment and flaking out all of the heavy 3″ chain and cable straps they would use to drag and lift he tug.  By the end of Thursday they were ready and we waited for the call to move the General to the wreck site and begin the removal.

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The whole time we waited for the call to move the weather was perfect.  Abalone had been observed on the rocks around were the anchors and chain would lay so it was decided to bring in starfish to try and herd the abalone out of harms way.  After 2 or 3 wasted days, the divers just picked them up and moved them.

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We finally were tasked to move to the site on Monday morning.  The plan was for us to move the General to the site with the assistance of the Seaspan Haisea Guardian tug.  The General has large 20,000 lbs. anchor on each corner of her deck.  We would slowly motor the barge ahead and as we pass over the outer anchor drop points, the barge would drop her anchor and pay out as we continued to the next drop point.  Then the General could pull herself back to the center of the two offshore anchors.  We would set her two inshore anchors for her by nosing up to the anchor as it hung from the corner of the barge, running a large 8 strand line through the anchor shackle and making it off on our bow bitts.  The General’s winch operator would slowly payout until the weight of the anchor was hanging from our bow and we would slowly back away from the barge towing the anchor to the predetermined drop point.  Once we were at the drop point, we would take a couple turns off our bitt and the anchor would fall away.  The barge could then position herself further offshore or winch herself inshore closer to the wreck.  You can see in the photo below how the barge could change positions by adjusting her anchors (again sorry for the sideways picture).

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Additionally, there was a gigantic Stem Shark anchor placed off of the offshore side of the barge approx 500′  and connected to the barge with 3″ chain.  On the inshore side, amidships of the barge, 3″ chain went to the wreck where the divers had cut out the tow pins on the barge and rigged a bridle out of the chain.  There were two massive hydraulic pullers on the deck of the barge.  One would tension up on the offshore stem shark anchor while the other would pull tension on the sunken tug.  The max pulling capacity was 300 tons. See photo of Stem Shark anchor below:

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It took most of the day to move, set the anchors and get the heavy chains connected to the Stem Shark and to the tug.  The next morning when I woke up, the workers were taking all of the connections apart and we were told to prepare to move the General back to the protected Norman Morrison bay due to incoming weather.  It took most of the day to move her back and get her tucked in.  It’s a good thing too because over the next five days of standing by we had some ferocious blows up to 70 knots.

Some underwater shots of the Stewart:

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Finally we moved back to the wreck, except this time there was a lingering swell.  As we approached the anchor drop points, our tug was made up along side of the General and we had the Haisea Guardian on the opposite bow of the barge.  We got the first anchor set and slowly moved to position the second anchor when a large set of swells came through.  We were running two head lines (one was a large 9″- 8 strand line we affectionately called “Big Nasty” due its difficulty handling it), a doubled up spring line 8″ and a 8″ stern line.  When the surge came we parted the 8″ head line, the double spring line and the stern line.  The only line that didn’t part was Big Nasty but that was because the bitt on the barge Big Nasty was made off to ripped off the deck of the barge and sling shotted back into the house on our tug.  Very dangerous!  It is amazing how much stored energy a nylon line can release when it parts and you have got to be aware NOT TO STAND IN THE SNAP BACK ZONES!  On the other side of the barge, the Guardian also parted their spectra head line.

Luckily we got both offshore anchors down and we were able to set the inshore anchors with no further issues.  The chains were connected to the stem shark and to the tug and the pulling began!  As chain tension came up, the Stewart turned easily and started to come toward us fairly well. Later in the afternoon she got hung up and no matter how much tension the crews pulled, she just wasn’t going to budge.  The divers had to spend several hours rigging air bags and pumping air into the tug as best they could to try and lift her bow over the “curb”.  The curb was a rock ledge about 3′ high that stopped the Stewart in her tracks. Photos below: The Stewart had been parallel to the beach but she turned offshore easily and then hug up on the “curb”.

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Since we had parted so many of the lines, I spent most of my watch mending lines, splicing new eyes, or trying to make something usable out of the remnants.  The captain decided that we wouldn’t make up along side next time and that we would use a set of soft bridles instead.  We went down into the fore peak to retrieve the matched set of 140′ long bridles and there was only one!  Somewhere along the line on a previous trip one was damaged or used for something else and not replaced.  I took one new 85′ spring line with an eye at each end and flaked out on the deck in the fore peak. Then I laid one of the longer remnants of parted line exactly on top of it to get the length just right and spliced a new eye so we had two 85′ bridles.

Later in the day as the pulling was progressing, the swells seemed to be picking up.  The command boat suggested to the General to relax pulling and winch themselves further offshore.  They chose to continue pulling as they were making good progress.  Right at dark some massive sets came in and broke just offshore of the General and her western most offshore anchor slipped.  Were rushed in and threw up our new bridles.  As we passed up the first line (the new line) and they got it on the bitt, we took a huge swell and the line came super tight.  We all scattered for shelter but the line held.  We managed to get the second line up and pull away as we dumped wire.  When we got to a position where we could take a strain, the new line was stretched out about 4′ longer than the line I spliced (shit!).  That meant that all of the strain would be on the used line that I had just spliced the eye in.  We pulled on the barge all night to keep her in position and from slipping her anchors and moving any closer to the rocks. The used line with my new splice held together thankfully.

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Photos below: We pulled through the night to keep the General in position.  The photos from the next morning show the swells were way down.

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The next day reset the offshore anchor and the pulling continued.  They managed to get the Stewart pulled off the reef and into deeper water.  Only her top pilot house was showing.  Then we broke off from her and returned to the protected bay for more incoming weather.

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A few more days of waiting around and we returned one last time to prepare the Stewart for lifting.  The divers spent much of the day rigging the chain and cable rigging that would be used to lift her.  The estimated weight full of water was around 460 tons.  The General has a capacity of 700 tons. Rigging the lifting gear:

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The weather slowly started to pick up again and the rains came in.  We were fearful that we would have to stand down again.  Right at the end of the day the big lift came:

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I racked out because I knew we’d be getting a call out to pull anchors and move back to the bay.  I didn’t manage to get any shots of the Stewart being loaded onto the barge (it was dark anyway).  We moved the General back to the bay late that night and in the morning the Stewart was on a different barge anchored not too far away:

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I’m not sure where she was taken from this point.  We had a couple days of buttoning up the General and then we towed her back to Seattle.  Our planned 6 day trip (to drop off the General) ended up being 27 days start to finish.

I’ve never been involved with a salvage of this size.  There was a tremendous amount of effort covering many aspects.  There had been a full depth contour survey done, massive amounts of oil boom put out and constantly mended and monitored, oil skimmer boats, crew boats, standby tugs, barges with tanks for pumped out fluids to be stored, etc.  The Canadian Coast Guard sat on scene the whole time guarding the wreck and also checking in and out the crews and little boats coming and going from the site to ensure they returned to port each time and make sure no one was lost along the way.  There were multiple flyovers each day looking for progress and oil slicks.  There was a boat that collected trash from all  of the other boats during the weeks so that was never an issue.  Overall there was a lot of planning and coordination to make this happen safely.  I was highly impressed overall even if it seemed like we wasted a lot of time in the beginning.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, stays out of the snap back zones and stays safe!

Update 12/3/2016: The Stewart was taken to Vancouver, Canada to be scrapped at the Amix yard.

 

Seattle to SF Bay; Spirit of Sacremento Salvage

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A couple days after arriving home from Alaska, my phone rang and the office called and wanted me on a tug Southbound to SF Bay two days later.  I was home just long enough to mow the grass, clean out the gutters, do a few honey do’s and repack my bag.

Our job consisted of towing the gigantic derrick crane barge, D.B. General, to SF Bay where it would be used to salvage the derelict sternwheeler “Spirit of Sacramento”.   She had seen better days and has quite the storied past including being previously owned and used in a film by John Wayne.  Read more of her history here: Spirit of Sacramento.

So we crewed up at 2300, loaded and stowed all of the stores and supplies for a midnight departure from the yard.  The chief engineer was struggling with one of the Caterpillar engines running for around 20 seconds and then shutting down.  It was determined that a sensor had gone bad and he went about changing it out.  Once the repair was completed the same problem persisted and the port engineer (now onboard) and the chief decided the issue was more complex and in the effort to remain on schedule we would take another tug instead.  We spent the next couple hours shifting all of our personal equipment and clothes, groceries that had already been put into the freezers / reefers and boxes thrown away, ships supplies etc to the new tug.  It was a huge undertaking for a quick departure and everyone was spent.  Then we got underway for the 2 hour run to Seattle to get fuel.  We arrived about the time I should be getting off watch and we fueled for about 4 – 5 hours.  Then we met our barge as it was brought out of the river to us.  We made up and got underway and I managed about a 60 minute nap before my next watch.

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Transferring all of our stuff to the Polar Ranger.

I crashed after watch and skipped dinner to get caught up on some sleep.  On my next Midnight watch from 12-0400 we were just approaching the western end of the Straights of Juan De Fuca and the forecasts offshore really weren’t looking good.  As my watch ended and I racked out, we turned the corner into the Pacific and proceeded to get our asses kicked.  Forget about sleeping as all effort was spent just holding on.  During the next watch at noon I shot al little video.  The seas and winds had come down quite a bit at this point but we were still getting worked.  

After the storm of the first night, the weather was awesome!  We put out the hand lines hoping to catch some fresh albacore on the steam south, but didn’t get a nibble.  

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We had several encounters with massive swarms of porpoises swimming with us and playing in our bow wake.  It is a fairly common thing to see these guys while underway in the ocean.  

It took us three days to get to SF Bay and we pulled in under the Golden Gate in perfect conditions.  It’s always cool passing under the bridge, Alcatraz and the skyline of SF.  We towed the barge up the Sacramento River to Vallejo, which is where Cal Maritime is located.  We dropped our barge off to the contractor so they could complete rigging the crane for the salvage job.  The next morning two Westar tugs came and got the barge and took her upriver to the job site.  We were bummed that we wouldn’t be able to be involved with the operation or even see it.  The contractor said they would be back in three days so we laid at a deep water site across the river from where we delivered the barge.  It was another contractor who offered to let us tie up at their facility as it has sufficient water depth.  They also gave us keys to one of their yard trucks!  That was totally cool of them and allowed us to get out around Vallejo a little bit.  A note about Vallejo…….it’s a pretty run down rough area.  Don’t plan a family vacation there…ever.

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So what’s an AB supposed to do while tied to a dock and the sun is shining?  Break out the painting shit and get to work.  We also serviced all of the on board safety equipment and ran the emergency dewatering pump.  

On our last day of waiting, myself and the second mate, took the truck over to Cal Maritime for a tour.  The mate is a graduate of the Maine Maritime workboat program and I probably looked like his father.  The people at Cal Maritime were very gracious and gave us a full tour even though I made it clear that we weren’t going to be enrolling.  I think the most fun I had was wearing my new “Hawespipin Ain’t Easy” shirt around the campus.  The shirt was a gift from a fellow maritime blogger when I passed by mate exams earlier this summer.  Please go check out his selection of shirts and get one for yourself from Workboatwear.  The campus of Cal Maritime is really nice and the facility is really nice.  It’s too bad the town doesn’t match.  We toured the engineering labs, simulators (weren’t in operation), the classrooms, the training ship “Golden Bear”, the bookstore and had a nice lunch in the cafeteria.  When I was getting out of high school I had no idea an option like this existed.  For a young person wishing to go to sea, I would suggest this type of route.  It will give you a huge head start over hawespiping along with a degree.  

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Three days later our barge returned and the contractor crew spent some time stowing all of their gear and lashing everything for us to tow her back to Seattle.  The trip north was uneventful and the weather was superb.

All in all a great trip with a great crew and it ended up being a total of 14 days.

 

The Annual Bayliner Migration Has Begun!

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There are several ways to tell when spring and summer have arrived in the Pacific Northwest. One way is the weather is nicer, the rain is warmer and the days are longer. The other way is to listen to channel 16 on the VHF and see how many times the name “Bayliner” comes up. I would love to see some official stats of how many Bayliners are in the region. I suspect more than any other area of the country, since one of the biggest Bayliner factories was just up the road here for many years.

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These two fellows were both moored to the same mooring ball over Memorial Day Weekend. The thing is, they used the same 1/2″ nylon line. They are convinced that someone came in during the night and cut the line (during a 45 knot wind) and have filed a police report stating the line was cut. I don’t buy it for a minute and after examining the cut line am more convinced that the line chaffed off.

White Bayliner grounded at the high water line:
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They ended up about 70 yards apart on a beach about 6 miles from where they were moored. The white boat (2005) was lucky and landed in the gravel part of the shore near the high water line and suffered a missing trim tab and very small pinhole in the bottom of the keel. We were able to pull it off the beach at high tide by pulling hard for about 5 minutes and swinging the towboat back and forth. We then towed her 3.5 NM to the harbor where there was a waiting trailer to haul her out.

Towing the White boat to the marina and her waiting trailer:
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The blue boat (2009) wasn’t lucky at all. It landed in a rocky section of beach and had 4 or 5 4 inch holes in the hull, the keel had a split about 3 feet long and the port side of the hull separated from the chine for about 5 feet.

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We had to come back at low tide the next day, secure lift bags to the hull and wait for high tide to float her off the rocks. The tide was rising and we decided we needed to reposition the tow boat to get a better angle on the tow. We barely tugged on the towline and the boat popped right off the rocks and was free. When it turned, the stbd. lift bag was pinched on a big rock covered with barnacles and punctured. We couldn’t tell at first as she was floating level. It soon became apart something was wrong and we needed to get another bag on it quick! We had semi prepared for this and had our air tanks pre-rigged and ready. I was able to hand line the stricken vessel up to our swim step while my partner tried to get around the cleat so we could attach the additional bag. The cleat had so many lines already attached that there was not any additional room for extra lines. The boat nearly rolled over right next us, until we were able to get a line around the hardtop and inflate the float bag. The boat didn’t roll completely (a good thing) but we could only make 1 knot. The tow took 3.5 hours. This put us into the harbor around 2300 (11PM) and all marina staff had gone home hours earlier. Our instructions were to pull the vessel as far up the boat ramp as possible and they would deal with it in the morning. Sounds good right? Not quite. The boat settled on the ramp o.k., but it was laying on top of several of our very expensive air bags that we couldn’t free. Our diver had to suit up, attach more air bags to lift the vessel off our stuck gear, free the gear and then deflate the extra bags so the vessel could lay on the ramp on bottom until morning. It took another few hours just to get our gear back and the vessel free so we could go home. All in all, a long day but we got the job done in one shot and didn’t have to come back a third day to finish.

Arriving the next day at low tide. This is as close as we could get and had to wade in from here:
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Getting the lift bags attached and inflated. Need to wait for the tide to come in:
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Double checking our work just before the rising tide:
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Just after the stbd. bag punctured and we scrambled to get the bag on the hard top to keep her from rolling over:
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SLOOWWWW Towing. Only making 1 Knot:
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At the marina ramp, trying to free our gear so we can be done:
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Other photos from the week.

The Adventuress sailing vessel arrived in Everett for a few days to visit:
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Hat (Gedney Island) on a calm day. Whidbey Island is to the left:
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Towing a couple of disabled vessels and a nice sunset over Admiralty Inlet:
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Three Hour Tour

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0530 Yesterday morning the phone rings with the Vessel Assist Dispatch calling. They tell me the USCG is on scene of a boat hard aground on the rocks at Gedney Island with an uncooperative owner onboard (1 POB). The water is at the “cabinets” according to the dispatcher but the boat can’t sink any further than it already is and it is high tide (+11.2′). The coasties can’t get close enough in their 45′ due to the draft and have been standing by for a couple hours even though they came all the way from Seattle, approx 30 NM away. This run is about 25 minutes from our slip at the Everett Marina. I give them an ETA and get dressed and head towards the marina. On the way, the dispatcher calls back and says the Everett Police have removed the POB so I shouldn’t expect anyone onboard when I get there. They did confirm the boat was insured for liability only. I told them I hadn’t even seen the vessel yet, a 34′ Pacemaker with twin screws and a wood hull. Along the drive to the marina, the dispatcher calls back with updated coordinates passed along from the USCG which puts the boat inside the Everett Jetty and only about a quarter mile from my slip. It never did make sense that the Everett Police would be involved in any action on Gedney Island as it not their area of operations.

Arriving at the boat, I can see the flashing lights of the various agency boats (USCG, US Navy – they often help due to their 24 hour presence at the nearby Everett Naval Station, Everett Police) tied to the visitor dock on the far side of the Everett Marina. I get underway and motor over to see if they can give any information regarding the vessel and where / how the vessel was taking on water. The more information I can gather at this time, the easier time it will be when it comes to removing her from the jetty. If it has a gaping hole in the side would be a different response that a broken thru hull fitting. The coasties were most helpful even though they could not get any information from the owner. He refused to abandon ship and said he was a live aboard and all of his possessions were onboard. The USCG contacted the police and had him removed against his will in order to keep him from becoming a larger emergency. I asked if the vessel owner was available so maybe I could get any information but he had been released once arriving at the dock and he disappeared with a ride from someone but no one knew for sure.

I motored across the channel and snapped some pictures of the boat, even though I couldn’t get very close since the tide was ebbing and the boat was quickly becoming high and dry for the day. I stopped and talked to the US Navy boat and the USCG some more and let them know our tentative removal plans. I returned to my slip to send photos out to our other company boat and arrange an after hours, overtime haul out at the next high tide – 0300 this morning. While filing in some paperwork in the boat, the port security guard comes down the dock asking if I know where the “guy from the boat” went. I said no and that I had no phone for him and that I hadn’t even seen or been able to talk to him yet. The guard says the guy left his dog and computers with him and he couldn’t babysit the dog all day. This story just keeps getting better by the minute. A short while later the USCG Pollution Control guys from Sector Seattle Called and said there was a reported 50 gallons of gasoline onboard and asked if I could see a sheen on the water. I told them the boat was high and dry and no sheen would be possible to see until the tide comes in. I also assured them that it was very unlikely, with the position of the boat that the tanks had been breached in any way and I would keep a watch over it. They asked if they could drive to the scene (again no local knowledge). I said I would give them a ride in the boat to the Jetty Island Park and from there we could walk down the beach approx 3/4 mile to the wreck but going directly to the wreck by boat wasn’t possible due to the shallow water. They arrived about an hour later and we made the trek down to the boat and checked her out. Here are some pictures:
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The saving grace for this old girl is the fact that she had a small solid wood keel running here full length. Had the keel not been there, I’m sure the rotten hull would have easily been penetrated by the rocks she laid on. I didn’t post any pictures of the interior of this vessel. Trust me when I tell you it was EFFEN NASTY inside. Anyone who even says they lived on her is disgusting. The coasties and I did our best to turn off the power, reset the anchor as best we could, plug up the fuel vents, etc. They were concerned that the next tide, she would float her enough to pound the rocks into the hull and lose the fuel. I assured them we would have it removed at the next tide cycle and not to worry. The USCG Buoy Tender Henry Blake is moored directly across the channel about 300 yards away. The coasties said they would have the crew from the bridge watch through the binos as we removed her and keep the pollution desk informed in Seattle (great an audience!). We made the return walk down the beach and I returned them to their truck.
In the afternoon, I went to the toy store and bought a couple of nerf basketballs, the hardware store and bout a roll of aluminum roof flashing and a roll of plastic garbage sacks. I motored back over to Jetty Island and walked back down the beach for a second time.
Here is the lovely Jetty Island Beach – not quite Hawaii or Cancun is it?
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If you look closely at the photo at the very end of the beach you can see a navy destroyer in the distance. If you look to the left side of the photo you can see the USCG Henry Blake and the vessel is directly across the channel from her but not visible in the photo. The buildings with the green roofing is the Everett Naval Station. With my nerf footballs and garbage bags, I was able to plug the exhausts on the boat and with the sheet metal and garbage bags, I was able to screw patches over the visible holes in the hull and reduce the speed at which water could enter the hull when the water started to ingress.

On the walk back there were a pair of nesting Ospreys and I got a photo of one of them:
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I was one whooped puppy after my second beach walk and headed home for some dinner and some sleep before the night ops began. I enlisted my good buddy Kenny (known as Flasher – he owns a fishing tackle company named Qcove that builds salmon Flashers) to help me and told him to bring his chest waders as he would be the sherpa of all the equipment. I was able to get a couple hours of sleep before the alarm went off at 2300. I picked up Flasher on the way and we geared up and headed out in the boat. It was absolutely down pouring and small craft advisory type weather. We pressed our boat up in the mud as close as possible and tossed the anchor. Flasher hauled the pumps, and towline over to the stricken vessel and we got all rigged up and pump in place. My response boat has a 2″ dewatering pump that rides 24 / 7 with the boat and it get hammered in the salty environment. I took it home in the afternoon and lubed up the impeller good and ran it for about 10 minutes to ensure I would perform when needed. The Seattle boat that was coming to help also carried a 3″ dewatering pump, but he was running late due to the nasty weather and he had about 30NM to run to get to our location. He finally arrived and we got his towline all connected and had ready with the pumps. The tide had risen and the water was filling in around the boat’s hull and my boat was completely floating again. We had Flasher start pumping and the stern started lifting after about 20 minutes of continuous pumping. When Flasher walked to the opposite side of the boat we saw the stern wobble with the weight shift so we knew it was starting to float free. Both towboats pulled gently, with me pulling from the bow and the other from the stern. The old Pacemaker popped right off the rocks and I towed to deeper water and Flasher released the stern towline from the other towboat while continuing to run the pumps. We towed her up river to the marina haul out and were a bit more than an hour ahead of schedule for our haul out at 0300. With an hour to wait, we just monitored the pumps, which had to be run about 5 minutes out of every 15 minutes to keep ahead of the water. The haul out crew arrived and lifted the boat out and we were able to get a good look at the bottom. The props were smoked and one rudder had a huge chunk out of it, but I’m fairly certain it was already like that.
In the slings:
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As you can see the water is pouring out of both shaft logs. I have serious doubts that this boat was not on a planned run to be scuttled / sank to save the owner moorage fees.
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Flasher & L collected all of our lines, pumps, etc. and headed home. I hit my pillow at 0430.

I wanted to wait to the end to mention another side story that happened yesterday. On one of my trips to the marina while heading West on Everett Avenue, there is a point where you crest the hill and get your first view of Puget Sound and Port Gardner Bay (Port Gardner Bay is the harbor in Everett). As I caught the first glimpse of the bay, there was an unusual amount of bright light in the moorage area and it was clear a large ship had docked. As I got closer I was awe struck as it turned out to be Edison Chouest‘s AIVIQ! I knew she was big, but holy smokes. I drove as close as could to get a picture:
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The part of harbor they are docked in is patroled by the Navy as you have to basically enter the inner harbor right past the Navy ships. Tomorrow I’m going to try to take a little harbor tour and see this beast up close. If anyone has any contacts for this ship and can arrange a tour for me, I’d owe you a beer! So while laying in bed this morning, I checked Marine Traffic to make sure she hadn’t left and I got another bonus! Crowley’s biggest baddest tug, the Ocean Wave is tied up just down the dock. I’m really hoping I can slide in the harbor for some photos (I’ll even bring a real camera). Stand by to stand by and hopefully tomorrow I will have another post.