Bisso Marine Crew Fishes for Crawler Crane at Bottom of Atchafalaya River

Tue December 18, 2007 - Southeast Edition

Bisso Marine recently mobilized a salvage team, the salvage support barge C/B Big Eagle and the 700 ton (635 t) capacity D/B Cappy Bisso to salvage a crawler crane which had fallen into the Atchafalaya River in Berwick, La.

The crane, which weighed approximately 100 tons, was knocked into the river upon contact with the Highway 90 Bridge in 2005. At the salvage location the water was 30 ft. deep, but in the two years since the collision, the crane had settled to approximately 25 ft. below the river bottom.

Bisso Marine salvage divers used multiple airlifts up to 14 in. in diameter to excavate the crane, which was found to be down by the counterweight. By accessing the hoist drums and the crane car body, divers were able to connect lifting slings to the crane.

The D/B Cappy Bisso applied 120 tons of force to ease the crane out of the mud as airlifting operations continued to move large amounts of muddy river bottom. Upon removing the crane from the mud hole, it was lifted through the water column and placed on to the deck of a barge for delivery.

Once the crane was secured on to the deck of a barge, the Bisso Marine salvage divers returned to the river bottom to locate the 180 ft. of damaged boom which also was buried in the mud. Again using the airlifts, the salvage divers were able to expose the buried boom and remove it using the Manitowoc 4000 on board the salvage support crane barge C/B Big Eagle.

Due to the crane being in the middle of the navigable waterway, all marine traffic had to be stopped during the salvage operation to allow for safe diving operations. To mitigate to impact of the waterway closure, Bisso Marine conducted 24 hour continuous operations. The entire excavation and salvage operation was completed in 10 working days.

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