VIDEO: Crews to start raising sunken barge from San Francisco Bay

 

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Part of a sunken barge was raised Tuesday morning from San Francisco Bay, just one step in raising the entire boat that sank in April, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

As of 10:30 a.m., what Coast Guard officials described as the “crane house” of the barge Vengeance had been raised and placed on another barge to be transported, Chief Warrant Officer Jeremiah Winston said.

Work began overnight just south of the Bay Bridge and east of Yerba Buena at the site of the 112-foot Vengeance, which sank on April 7.

The crane house consisted of, among other parts, a tank for hydraulic fluid and a tank for diesel fuel, Winston said.

Neither of the tanks leaked as a salvage company raised the crane house from the water, but some leaked into the water when the crane house was placed on the barge, Coast Guard Petty Officer Sarah Wilson said.

How much or what kind of fluid leaked was not yet clear, but booms were in the water to keep it from spreading and to absorb the fluid, Wilson said. An environmental company is on scene to handle any emergency.

Two more pieces of the barge remain in the Bay. Part of one of those pieces is sitting on 25 feet of mud on top of the Transbay Tube that BART trains travel in between San Francisco and Oakland.

The two pieces of the barge should be out of the water by the end of the week, Winston said.

Mariners are being asked to avoid a 350-meter safety zone around the barge and monitor media channels because the safety zone could change. Marine information broadcasts will continue to be sent to mariners as long as the safety zone is in effect.

Organizations including the Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Vortex Marine Construction and BART make up the unified command handling the recovery operation.

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