About Bow-Deep In The Big Muddy
|November 16th, 2006||#1|
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Bow-Deep In The Big Muddy info
November 15, 2006
By Associated Press
The Navy is using orange clamshell buckets swinging from towering steel cranes to remove thousands of tons of Hudson River mud that has kept the USS Intrepid prisoner at its pier.
Six divers, who could barely see more than 2 feet through the dark, murky waters, have been surveying the World War II aircraft carrier's hull to determine whether any damage occurred from last week's aborted attempt to tug the ship to New Jersey for renovation. The divers also were gauging the amount and composition of the dense sediment.
The Navy wasted no time in launching its emergency salvage operation, which includes dredging the mound of thick mud built up at the bottom of the ship, said Bill White, president of the Intrepid Museum Foundation.
"We are deep in the throes of this dredging expedition," said White, as he watched the crews work yesterday.
The crews are working around the clock to remove the mud, including digging a 35-foot trench on one side of the ship, according to Peter Shugert, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, which is assisting the Navy.
"They want to create an area so they can vacuum the sediment from under the hull," Shugert said.
The carrier's 16-foot propellers screwed themselves into the goo as tugs tried to tow the ship from its berth Nov. 6, pulling it 15 feet before giving up.
The 27,000-ton carrier is sitting in a precarious position, with its stern about a foot higher on the muddy speed bump than the bow, White said.
Once the sediment is brought to the surface, it is placed on large iron barges and transported to a landfill on Staten Island for environmental processing.
Intrepid museum officials said they hope the operation to move the ship to Bayonne, N.J., will take only about a month.
White said the Intrepid's plight has served to highlight its mission as a tribute to those who served in the Armed Forces.
"I think Intrepid's getting stuck in the mud was her way of saying, 'Please don't forget those who fought on my decks, all those heroes everywhere, those who sacrificed their lives and those who survived,'" he said.