Salvage crew working to refloat leaky boat in Savannah River

A salvage crew was using balloons and other equipment today in efforts to refloat a 41-foot trawler abandoned along the banks of the Savannah River.

 

“Right now, the Augusta Dive Team is working on it and so are the people from Towboat USA out of Savannah,” said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.

The Net Web, a partially refurbished shrimp boat once moored at the Augusta marina, was found to be leaking diesel fuel.

A U.S. Coast Guard crew brought in contractors who completed a $20,000 cleanup operation earlier this week in which about 1,500 gallons of diesel was removed from the vessel’s two tanks, she said.

Today’s activity involves inserting inflatable balloons beneath the boat, which is on its side.

“If we can get it set upright and floating, we can assess how badly it might be damaged,” she said. “If it’s not damaged, we’ll bring it back up here to the marina.”

If the boat begins to sink, a crane from Augusta Crane & Rigging will be brought in to remove it from the river.

Bonitatibus said the Augusta Dive Team has expressed an interest in adopting the boat if it is usable. “Whoever can cover the cost of what we’re paying to remove it can have it,” she said. The removal cost is about $2,500.

The fiberglass and wooden boat now rests on the Georgia side of the river downstream from The Boathouse and marina.

 

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