Coast Guard oversees salvage of sunken deck barge in Cuyahoga River

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — Salvage crews continue to work to remove a sunken deck barge from the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland Friday after it was reported submerged and blocking part of the river’s channel Thursday.

At present, the barge is out of the water, tied up, and salvage crews are pumping water out and preparing to place it on a larger barge to be transported away from the scene.

Thursday at 3 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo were notified that a deck barge, measuring 36 feet long, 18 feet wide and 8 feet deep, had sunk in the Cuyahoga River, east of the Columbus Road Bridge. The barge was reported to be partially in the channel, representing a possible risk to commercial traffic that may transit the area. The Coast Guard began issuing a safety broadcast and notifying any nearby vessels in the area.

A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor, in Cleveland, arrived on scene with a representative from American Bridge, the company that owns the barge, to assess the situation. The vessel was empty at the time of its sinking, and no pollution has been reported.

The captain of the port of Buffalo established a safety zone in the Cuyahoga River to ensure the safety of salvage crews and other vessels. Due to the narrowness of the channel, transit for commercial and recreational traffic was closely monitored. At all times, the status of the waterway is being broadcast to mariners via VHF-FM marine radio.

Divers from Underwater Marine Construction were in the water Thursday morning, cutting a hole in the upside-down barge to fill it with air in order to raise it. Attempts to salvage the barge continued into the night and were ultimately successful Friday morning, as tow trucks pulled the barge out of the water so that it could be tied up.

Salvage continues, with marine safety responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Cleveland on scene to monitor, oversee and ensure salvage operations are done safely.

Sunken deck barge salvage in Cuyahoga River

Salvage crews attempt to use tow trucks May 3, 2012 to salvage a 36-foot deck barge that sank in the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland the day before. U.S. Coast Guard photo, courtesy Marine Safety Unit Cleveland.

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