Underwater Tsunami Damage Slowing Crescent City Salvage Efforts

March 20, 2011

By Steven Sandberg

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — The damage on the surface of the Crescent City harbor is being cleared away, but salvage teams say the damage underwater is still immense.

“We’ve got a cluster of boats,” said Danny Broadhurst of Global Diving and Salvage. “About four of them, and one’s on top of another and another’s crushed beneath a dock.”

16 boats sank in the harbor after the tsunami on March 11. While crews have been busy clearing away as much debris from boats and the dock as they can, they say it is still dangerous underwater, and is slowing down the recovery efforts.

“There’s actually a lot of debris to float up out of the way before we can access the boat,” said Broadhurst. “There’s a lot of conduit, a lot of wires, there’s dock lines, fishing lines, fishing nets, crab pots. It’s a mess. The diver has to climb through quite a bit of stuff.”

Salvage crews had to postpone plans to raise a sunken boat Sunday because the underwater damage, along with weather concerns, was too dangerous for dive teams.