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Slow Start to Lone Star Salvage Ops

The Coast Guard says the front of the vessel is lodged so deeply in mud that salvage crews have been unable to wrap a second chain around it.

DILLINGHAM:    The 72' vessel Lone Star, which was operating as a tender for Trident Seafoods during this year’s sockeye salmon fishery, sank in the Igushik River on June 30th.

Various agencies have participated in a salvage effort since then, first working to contain any leaking oil or fuel, and for the past two months trying to raise the ship out of the mud.

A second, more substantial salvage operation got underway this week, but it seems crews have already run into problems.

On Friday, the US Coast Guard unit monitoring the salvage told KDLG News that crews have been able to wrap one chain around the aft end of the vessel, but have not been able to do the same at the bow.  Apparently the front of the Lone Star is now lodged so far in the mud that salvage experts will need to tunnel underneath the river bottom in order to connect the chain.

If crews succeed in wrapping the necessary chains, the plan calls for filling part of the Lone Star with a buoyant foam which should then aid in hoisting it up with a heavy crane. The Lone Star will then be towed to shallower water, and repaired enough to float it to Unalaska.

The salvaging of the Lone Star is being led by Resolve Marine Services, which bought out Magone Marine in August.