Wired Feature on Deep Sea Cowboys Saving Giant Ships

Tuesday, 26 February 2008
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Cougar Ace


This week cannot get better! You all know of my love of big things breaking down. Sometimes finding interesting stuff is hit and miss with several weeks of nothing but then you get a week where you hit the jackpot. This is one of those weeks.

Wired Magazine has an absolutely fantastic (fantastic!) article on the world of ship salvage guys. For those who don't know, there is a small group of highly experienced guys who are called in to save ships that is stuck on rocks, shore, or in this case tipped over on its side.

The article highlights an accident in Alaska on July 23, 2006 where a cargo ship accidentally tipped over to one side when they were draining the water from the ballast. The ballast tanks are designed to keep the ship stable at sea. For some reason they pumped too much water out of one side causing it to become unbalanced. A small wave was all it took to knock it over.

The shipping company could either give up on the boat ($100 million) and its cargo of cars ($103 million) or they could call in the Titan Salvage Crew and pay them over $10 million to try to save the boat.

It's extremely high risk and if they don't save the cargo, they don't get paid.

Oh yeah, one of the team died in the process.

Actually one has died each year for the past three years.

Read it and watch the short video over at wired.com.

Cougar Ace


This week cannot get better! You all know of my love of big things breaking down. Sometimes finding interesting stuff is hit and miss with several weeks of nothing but then you get a week where you hit the jackpot. This is one of those weeks.

Wired Magazine has an absolutely fantastic (fantastic!) article on the world of ship salvage guys. For those who don't know, there is a small group of highly experienced guys who are called in to save ships that is stuck on rocks, shore, or in this case tipped over on its side.

The article highlights an accident in Alaska on July 23, 2006 where a cargo ship accidentally tipped over to one side when they were draining the water from the ballast. The ballast tanks are designed to keep the ship stable at sea. For some reason they pumped too much water out of one side causing it to become unbalanced. A small wave was all it took to knock it over.

The shipping company could either give up on the boat ($100 million) and its cargo of cars ($103 million) or they could call in the Titan Salvage Crew and pay them over $10 million to try to save the boat.

It's extremely high risk and if they don't save the cargo, they don't get paid.

Oh yeah, one of the team died in the process.

Actually one has died each year for the past three years.

Read it and watch the short video over at wired.com.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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