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Thread: Raising the RMS Oregon Anchor Crossmember

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    Senior Member tmccar1's Avatar
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    Raising the RMS Oregon Anchor Crossmember

    We had a weekend for the ages aboard Tempest.

    5 years ago a group of divers led by Capt Pat Rooney successfully raised the anchor from the RMS Oregon. Two days (Saturday 8/17/13) ago we sailed with the hopes of completing the job by raising the missing 1500lb crossmember belonging to it.

    You can see the original post about it here... http://thedecostop.com/forums/showth...=oregon+anchor

    Friday night I checked on the following day's forecast. NOAA was showing "Less than 2 feet" for the seas on the lift day. The stars were aligned.
    Pat had rigged the crossmember with lifting straps the week prior and all that was left was to put on the lift bags and get her into the boat (easier said than done).
    We arrived on the site and positioned ourselves over where we had to be. Jeff Pagano made quick work of tying us into the winch right next to the crossmember.
    It was then Pat's turn to rig up his 2000lb liftbag and start filling her up. We would leave it semi-inflated until everyones surface interval at which point he would descend and finish filling the bag.

    This, unfortunately, was complicated by a leaking dump valve on the bag. Luckily we had a spare aboard that we would rig up as well.
    After everyone was up from their first dive, Pat and Andy Favata went down to finish off the job.

    So that we could fill the bag as much as possible before letting it go, a line was lashed around the crossmember which was to be cut allowing it to start its ascent.
    The new bag was rigged up and Andy and Pat began to fill it. The crossmember slowly started to break free and began to raise up (still attached to it's leash).
    Before they got a chance to cut the line, however, the lift was so great that it managed to completely snap it. We were told it sounded like a gun shot underwater and that Andy believes he may have managed to simultaneously break the current record for 50m freestyle and ruined his undergarments. (Video of this to come!)

    The bags then carried her up to the surface where we were all waiting in anticipation.
    Two 2,000lb bags breaking the surface are a site to behold. Loud and chaotic to say the least. It can be seen here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcNrsd2bYek

    Capt John Bricker then swam the tag line out to the bags and we brought it to the back of the boat to prep for boarding.
    Now for the hard part. Getting her into the boat.

    We lashed boards underneath the massive metal piece with hopes that it would act as a sled of sorts. With our come along winch, patience, and a great deal of muscle and teamwork we all managed to slide her up into the cockpit safe and sound. (nothing a little fiberglass work can't fix anyway)
    In all it was a safe and successful operation that I doubt any of us will forget any time soon!

    Thanks again to all those who participated...
    Capt Pat Rooney- Team Lead (Atlantic Wreck Diver)
    Andy Favata- Recovery Team Rigger
    Capt John Bricker- Co Capt
    Capt Wes Carmen- Dockside Lifting
    Jeff Pagano- Tie In (Atlantic Wreck Diver)
    Dave Schloss- Diver, Topside Support
    Alex Barnard- Diver, Topside Support
    Clarissa Slesar- Diver, Topside Support
    Arthur Vaccarino- Diver, Topside Support
    April Manzanaras- Diver, Topside Support
    John- Diver, Topside Support
    Bryan Reyna- Diver, Topside Support
    Walter- Dockside rigging
    Me (Capt Tom McCarthy) (Co-Capt, Owner, Photographer)

    -Capt Tom McCarthy
    Tempest Dive Boat/ EastCoastWreckDiving.com

    Attachment 21548
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    Attachment 21552

    Participate in the discussion thread here: http://thedecostop.com/forums/showth...or-Crossmember
    Last edited by tienuts; 08-19-2013 at 20:33.
    -Capt Tom McCarthy
    info@EastCoastWreckDiving.com

    www.EastCoastWreckDiving.com
    Long Island Dive Boat M/V Tempest
    SF2 ECCR | rEvo Rebreather Training & Sales

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