Salvage plan submitted to move ship from collapsed bridge

(KFVS) - Foss Maritime has submitted a salvage plan to the U.S. Coast Guard to move the it's cargo ship from the Eggner's Ferry Bridge.

The Delta Mariner carrying parts for NASA slammed into the bridge on Jan. 26, causing part of the bridge to collapse.

The ship has been sitting in the open space between two bridge piers with some of the bridge superstructure and deck draped over the ship's bow.

Local divers were able to confirm that debris from the bridge was not contacting the ship's hull and that the hull did not sustain any significant damage, according to Foss Maritime owner's of the ship.  However, they were unable to provide enough information to project the exact location of the debris hanging off the bow.

Foss plans to bring in a piece of equipment called an Echoscope that uses sonar to create a three dimensional image of the ship's hull, debris field, and bottom contour of the waterway. This information will allow the salvage and operations team to complete a final detailed version of the salvage plan.

After the salvage plan is approved, Foss will begin removing the portion of the bridge that is resting on the Delta Mariner. Then, the ship will be moved to another location for repair.

The salvage plan includes how Foss plans to safely free the ship from the bridge debris, remove the collapsed bridge section from the deck of the ship, and dispose of the debris away from the waterway.  Several pieces of equipment, including two crane barges, will be used in the operation.

The Coast Guard is enforcing a safety zone to ensure the safety of the public and commercial traffic going through the safety zone.

Recreational vessels are still prohibited from entering the safety zone.

Suzanne Lagoni, public affairs representative for Foss Maritime,says most of crew is still on the ship, and carrying out the day to day duties you would expect to have when you operate such a large vessel.

About the Delta Mariner

The ship is a 312-foot cargo carrier owned and operated by Foss Maritime.  The Delta Mariner is specially designed for the equipment it carried.

It was carrying cargo for United Launch Alliance.

The cargo is an United Launch Alliance Atlas booster and Centaur upper stage for the Air Force's AEHF-2 mission scheduled to launch in April and an interstage adapter for NASA's RBSP mission scheduled to launch in August. There is no schedule impact to either launch date expected at this point.

The Delta Mariner carries a crew of 16 experienced mariners who have completed this voyage numerous times over the past 10 years, according to Foss Maritime.

No pollution has entered the waterway. There is no threat of a fuel spill or other pollution.

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