The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessel Removal Program awarded AUS the contract to remove an 80-foot commercial fishing vessel from the Hoquiam River in Southwestern Washington. The 90-year-old Lady Grace sank on March 2, 2018.
The original plan to salvage this vessel was to lift her off the river bottom with lift bags. AUS divers placed lift bags under the vessel, so she could be raised by a crane barge. As soon as the vessel was secured, AUS planned to patch the hull and dewater the vessel so she would float once again. During the lifting process, AUS discovered that the damage to the hull was so extensive that the vessel would never float. Further, divers discovered that when the Lady Grace sank, she came to rest on top of another sunken derelict vessel. Over time, the two vessels became inextricably intertwined.
AUS developed a plan to dismantle the vessel in situ. The team brought the Lady Grace, as well as her underwater companion, back to the surface piece by piece. After the vessels were removed, divers performed a thorough survey of the river bottom to ensure no debris remained. – DA.