Sunday, January 08, 2006

San Diego Company To Help Salvage Beached Ship

A group of San Diegans will help salvage a 900-foot freighter that's been stuck on a beach in Ensenada, Mexico. Crews at R.E. Staite in National City have been working overtime to prepare for the job. "It's exciting .. knowing you're participating in getting a 900-foot vessel off the beach," said Ray Carpenter, from R.E. Staite Engineering. The APL Panama grounded itself Christmas Day. Titan, a salvage company out of Florida, called R.E. Staite for help.
"I got a hold of my personnel and said, 'This is going to be a 20-hour a day deal.' Everybody stepped up and here we are," Carpenter said.
APL Panama Has Become A Huge Tourism Attraction
According to 10News, Carpenter and his co-workers are used to big jobs. They've done many salvage operations, including the infamous Exxon Valdez "We were involved in the ship when it came to Nassco. We were hired by Exxon shipping to cut the steel plates off the bottom -- the same people who worked on those projects are still with me today. We have an expertise right here in San Diego that's unique to California," said Carpetner in 1989. Carpenter's expert crews are flying materials to Ensenada. "Helicopters are coming in two to three times a day and ships are coming in picking up cargo .. it's been non-stop," Carpenter told reporters. All of the equipment will be used to get the Panama off the beach. This is how it is supposed to work: Three giant pulleys will be attached to the ship and three half-mile-long chains will be anchored to the sea bottom. The pulleys will slowly crank up the chains and if all goes well, the stern of the ship will free itself first, followed by the rest of freighter. If they can get all the equipment in place, they'll begin the project late next week. If next week's effort fails, R.E. Staite will probably send one of its cranes to unload the containers off the ship to make the vessel even lighter. At the end of the month they could make another attempt to get the freighter off the beach.

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