Why salvage assets are important:

by Craig Hooper on December 24, 2009

Divers operating off the USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) are quietly getting Saipan’s channel to the point where that delightful isle will be able to host deep-draft vessels.  After this visit–the latest of at least two–the main channel will be clear to at least 36 feet, say the divers

“… the main priority of this mission is the removal of five “dangers to navigation” in the main Saipan channel.

“They’re much larger than the ones in the past. We have to deal with them a little different from what the groups in the past were doing”

….the biggest they have removed so far weighs some 10 tons or some 20,000 lbs.

“On some of these dangers to navigation, we only needed to take off 4 to 18 inches off of

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it, instead of bringing out the whole thing because they’re so massive. They cover such a large area that some of the techniques that we are using were never tried in the past,”…

…In January this year, 15 U.S. Navy divers also aboard the USNS Safeguard removed over 40 tons or 80,000 lbs of corals and rock formations-the biggest U.S. Navy project of its kind so far on Saipan.”

Over the past few years, our small salvage ships have been quietly working the Pacific, tending local ports, opening up anchorages and other necessary things.  It’s great, unsung work–and there’s nothing that makes the locals happier.

Need to do more of it…But with what?  Our salvage ships are over twenty years old, and are likely to become one of those pesky assets that vanish the very moment we need it.


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