Commercial Salvage of Valuable Cargo of Commodities  or Shipwreck Salvage/Removal News

  • US WWII tank from Barents Sea bottom

    US Sherman tank recovered

    From TASS

    Russia’s Northern Fleet divers have raised a US Sherman WWII tank from the bottom of the Barents Sea during drills, acting Head of the Fleet’s press office Andrei Luzik said on Tuesday.

    The Sherman tank is the second combat vehicle recovered from the US Arctic convoy ship Thomas Donaldson sunk by a German submarine during World War Two.

    "In addition to the tank, a 102mm gun, an antiaircraft machine gun and a pair of locomotive wheels, as well as a number of small items like artillery shell casings and projectiles were brought to the surface," the officer said.

    The Northern Fleet personnel are using two diving boats with operational pressure chambers and a team of medical specialists for descents to the sea bottom, the officer said.

    Also, remotely operated vehicles are being used to survey objects under the water, he added.

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  • Identity of Finnish shipwreck millionaire remains a mystery

    Marine archaeologists say the Kantava steamboat foundered in the Baltic Sea in 1925

    From Yle Uutiset

    Around a week ago, a group of divers completed their investigation of the wreck of a ninety-year-old steamship laden with copper.

    The vessel was discovered off the Lågskär Island in the Åland archipelago in 2013. Named the Kantava, the steamboat sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea near the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, between Finland and Sweden.

    Åland's Maritime archaeologist Marcus Lindholm says he is confident he has established that the vessel is the Kantava, due to its location, make and fittings.

    According to the ship’s papers, one of the owners around the year 1925 was a certain Juho Kaskinen, a farmer, MP and municipal council advisor. According to Lindholm, Kaskinen’s descendents can still claim ownership of the vessel.

    However, the more pressing question is: to whom does the nearly one million euros in copper rightfully belong ?

    The laws on such issues are more complicated than a simple case of finders keepers. Although it may be possible to identify the boat's rightful owners, that does not necessarily mean that they also have a legal right to its contents.

    The Finnish state cannot claim the bounty, as it has been less than one hundred years since the vessel sank, therefore the wreck is not considered a protected site. Adding to the intrigue, it is highly possible that up to ten kilogrammes of gold is mixed in with the copper.

    Miners during this era didn't have the ability to extract the precious metal, so it likely the gold is still buried within the less valuable metal. Mikko Simola led the diving team that found the wreck.

    “That’s why we made our find public. We wanted to establish who the wreck’s owner was. We don’t own it. We just wanted to give the coordinates to the owner, who could decide what to do with the ship and its cargo. It is very valuable,” said Simola.

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  • WWII tank recovered from riverbed

    From RT

    A Soviet KV-1 tank which sank in the Neva River near Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) during World War II has been successfully recovered from the bottom of the river in the Kirov district of northwestern Russia’s Leningrad Region.

    "Despite the stormy weather and the depth exceeding 15 meters at this place, the operation for the retrieval of the future museum exhibit was successful," the press service chief for the Western Military District, Colonel Andrey Bobrun, was quoted by the Interfax-AVN agency on Thursday as saying.

    The tank was recovered from the Neva by soldiers of the 90th Special Search Battalion of the Western Military District, in cooperation with staff of the Museum of the Battle for Leningrad. The operation was completed on Wednesday at 05:00 GMT.

    Experts who examined the tank have concluded that, despite all these decades underwater, it is still in good condition and can now be restored to its original state. The remaining ammunition was taken by specialists of the Emergency Ministry for deactivation.

    "There were no remains of the crew found inside the tank, and that suggests that they had escaped from the sinking battle machine,Bobrun continued.

    We can already conclude that the tank was likely to have sunk while crossing the river on a pontoon on the way to the combat area. After determining serial numbers of the units and the assemblies of KV-1, the museum staff will be able to track the fate of the crew and even find their relatives."

    Officials say that the tank, once restored, will be able to take part in historic parades and other activities.

  • Submarine in Dire straits

    Submarine in Dire Strait

    By Matt Jackson 

    The wreck of the first British-made submarine is in Dire straits at the bottom of the Solent, according to a new report.

    English Heritage says the A1, built in 1903 and sunk twice with the loss of 11 submariners by 1911, is in 'significant decline'.

    Divers have been blamed for speeding up the natural decay of the historic vessel by visiting the site and taking items away with them.

    The English Heritage 'At Risk Register' also lists Gosport Railway Station and nine other sites in the area as badly needing help to prevent them falling into disrepair.

    The Vickers-built A1 lies two miles south of Chichester harbour and is in such a poor condition naval experts fear for her future.

    George Malcolmson, archivist at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, said: 'It stands to reason that if the wreck is lying under the sea it will rust, but there have been other problems with her.

  • A job that plumbs hidden depths

    Copper ingots

    By Emily Ford

    Darren Morgan, a salvage expert, tells what it’s like recovering high-value cargo from sunken freighters Celia was already 1,200 metres under water by the time Darren Morgan reached her.

    “It took 18 months of planning and preparation,” he says. But the lengthy courtship paid dividends – the salvage generated sales worth more than £1.75 million for the company.

    Celia, the codename given to this particular shipwreck, sank off northwest Spain in the 1970s.

    Morgan, head of salvage at SubSea Resources, coordinated the cargo recovery operation with a small team, retrieving about 550 tonnes of copper and zinc.

    “It is not treasure hunting,” he says. “These are commodity metals.”

    Before separating a shipwreck from its ghostly secrets, the firm first has to find it. Researchers identify possible freighter vessels lost at sea which must meet strict criteria.

    “Wrecks must be located in international waters and war graves are strictly off limits.”

    Permission must also be sought from the underwriters, who are the legal owners of the cargo. Navigators study the last sightings of the ship to pinpoint its location to within 100 nautical square miles.

    “We look at where survivors were picked up... what the currents were like,” he says. A target being considered for 2008-09 was sunk during the Second World War. “We have the log from the U-boat commander.”