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Topic: 'Marine Salvage'

Hoover Dam Bypass Recovery Project

During construction of the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, the suspended cableway and support for the construction materials transportation system collapsed. This collapse dumped hundreds of thousands of pounds of twisted metal and more than thirty miles of cables into the Colorado River Gorge immediately below Hoover Dam.

Cross Marine Projects was contracted to locate and remove all of this wreckage. Utilizing a custom mooring system and specially designed support vessels for our commercial diving crews, our underwater salvage team safely removed the wreckage from this remote location.

Special underwater burning equipment and floating platforms were required to untangle 3 inch diameter cable, dissect large masses of twisted metal, recover large counterweights, and transport the metal debris through challenging river conditions and whitewater rapids to the extraction point.

This job was extremely difficult due to the lack of access for any type of heavy barge systems below the dam as well as the rugged environmental conditions. Below are some photographs of the Hoover Dam Bypass recovery projects.

Hoove Dam Cableway Collapse Hoover Dam cableway system and support structures before the collapse.
Close up picture of the left bridge support crane pedestal and cableway support structure. Hoover Dam Support Crane Collapse
Hoover Dam Bridge Collapse Accident Looking from the river up to the partially completed bridge span after the accident.
Wreckage extraction point near the mouth of the left spillway tunnel. Hoover Dam Spillway
Cross Marine Projects Hoover Dam Underwater Recovery Cross recovery crew suiting a diver prior to starting his underwater shift.
Recovery vessel moored to a cableway that allowed our vessels to navigate against the current at controlled speeds. Hoover Dam Colorado River Crane Recovery
Sub Salve Underwater Lift Bags at Hoover Dam Commercial diver securing pneumatic lift bags to large structure prior to removal.
A large steel counterweight is being towed down stream by the recovery vessel Charity Eden. hoover dam crane counterweight
commercial divers recover steel counterweight Steel counterweight is being lifted out of the water by an RT crane near the spillway portal.
Hundreds of O2 cylinders, gear and crews were lowered to the recovery vessel from above spillway tunnel during each shift. commercial diving hoover dam
commercial divers recover cableway slack cars hoover dam One of 19 cableway slack cars being removed from the Colorado River.
A Cross Marine Projects’ team member stands near a coil of 3-inch cable that had just been recovered. cross marine salvages underwater cables
commercial diver rigging underwater A Cross diver preparing one of two cableway trolley assemblies for recovery in section of river with strong currents.
Our specially constructed pneumatic barge system for lifting heavy wreckage in excess of 118,000 lbs. and transporting the mass to a take out point. cross marine pneumatic lift barge
divers salvage hoover dam load block One of the load blocks recovered using our custom pneumatic lift barges.

Rulon Gardner Airplane Recovery at Lake Powell

Cross Marine Projects was contracted to locate and recover a private Cirrus aircraft, which had crashed in a very remote area of the Lake Powell Recreational area. The crash site was 27 miles from the nearest marina or facility. Since this particular type of aircraft is equipped with a ballistic parachute system for emergencies, special care had to be taken not to deploy the system accidentally while divers were working on the aircraft under water.

Surface crew helps a Cross diver suit up for the deep-water recovery of a Cirrus aircraft from the waters of Lake Powell. This large man made reservoir contains more shoreline than the whole west coast of the United States. lake powell airplane recovery
lake powell sunken airplane recovery boat The Charity Eden Recovery Vessel and other specially designed vessels used by Cross can be transported anywhere in the United States in a matter of days. It is equipped with various sonar, positioning equipment and other electronic systems. It carries a full commercial diving surface supplied air system, diver communications and recovery systems.
Using a specially designed lift system, Cross recovery crews carefully raise the Cirrus aircraft to the surface. Special attention had to be given to the explosively charged emergency parachute recovery system to keep it from detonating underwater as the divers conducted the lift. lake powell sunken plane recovery
cross marine recovers rulon gardner airplane lake powell Having disarmed the ballistic parachute, crews placed a pneumatic lift system under the aircraft to allow it to be towed 27 miles to the nearest take out point. Rulon Gardner, the Olympic Wrestler, the pilot and a third individual survived the crash landing within the Lake Powell Recreational Area.

Update: Video footage of Cross Marine recovering the Rulon Gardner airplane wreckage aired on NBC’s The Biggest Loser Season 11 Episode 3 approximately 15 minutes into the show.

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