Coast Guard approves plan to remove ship, section of bridge - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Coast Guard approves plan to remove ship, section of bridge

(KFVS) - A salvage plan has been approved by the Coast Guard to remove the cargo ship and the section of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge on the vessel.

The Coast Guard approved the plan on Friday, and salvage operations are expected to start on Saturday.

Foss Maritime, owner of the Delta Mariner, has brought in a number of support vessels and technical salvage equipment to help with the salvage operations, according to the Coast Guard.

"The Coast Guard is working closely with Foss Maritime to ensure the safest and most efficient salvage of the ship," said Cmdr. Claudia Gelzer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah. "The company is cooperating fully and bringing the appropriate resources to bear in support of the operation. The goal is to free the ship from the bridge span debris and assess damages so it can be repaired and put back into service."

The Coast Guard has been enforcing a safety zone from mile marker 41-43 on either side of the bridge on the Tennessee River.

The river was opened to commercial traffic on Jan. 28, 2012, with speed restrictions.

The Coast Guard says they have a response boat site to help with safety during the salvage operations.

The Coast Guard is working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and Marshall County Police.

The investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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