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Boat recovery?

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Old 02-08-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
fishkiller
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Default Boat recovery?

Has anyone ever heard of an instance where a boat has sunk on Lake Erie and the E.P.A. or whatever agency (state or federal) was involved did not want it recovered?
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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Not sure what you mean by not wanting it recovered?? Do you mean they have no interest to remove it from the water?? Which if the vessel is yours, you ran into trouble, the vessel took on water, not in a shipping lane and does not pose "a hazard to navigation" then the USCG/Local Marine Patrols will more than likely stand by, refer you to a private tow company to remove the vessel at your expense. Being a diver as well, removing artifacts from shipwrecks/ships falls under salvage laws and state permits are required (there is a list on the net what falls under this.) Salvage in itself, is a cloudy subject and not always the easiest to do. Now there are wrecks that you are forbidden to remove anything from. Then there are scenarios provided in this letter I have referred to in the past. Maybe a little more clarification on the issue would help. here is the letter I referred to.

http://nsglc.olemiss.edu/Advisory/Ohio%20Salvage.pdf
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Default Great response

That letter covers, explains and clarifys quite completely. Thanks for taking the time to pursue the answers and sharing them.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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Short, Not an issue at all. Several times in my work, people have approached regarding salvage, etc. I refer to that letter often. Not as legal advice but as a guideline to help clarify the topic for the regular citizen not versed in the rules, regulations and laws concerning this.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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I was not really refering to salvage just the removal of the vessel from the lake.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Do explain the situation a little more in depth. I thought the situations were covered. Explained a boat taking on water, sunken and more. Like I said please go into a little more depth.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishkiller View Post
I was not really refering to salvage just the removal of the vessel from the lake.
Tom, I think it depends on where she went down. I have heard there are not the type of resources available to do the scanning that would make locating a deepwater boat very feasible. For example, even if you had the coords of where the boat went below the waves over 70+ FOW, where it lands on the bottom can be a long way from there due to the current. It's a situational thing. I've heard of boats that went down that were not required to be brought back up (but I wouldn't want to bet my paycheck if I was trying to ditch a crappy boat ).

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Old 02-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Workdog View Post
Tom, I think it depends on where she went down. I have heard there are not the type of resources available to do the scanning that would make locating a deepwater boat very feasible. For example, even if you had the coords of where the boat went below the waves over 70+ FOW, where it lands on the bottom can be a long way from there due to the current. It's a situational thing. I've heard of boats that went down that were not required to be brought back up (but I wouldn't want to bet my paycheck if I was trying to ditch a crappy boat ).

Jeff

This was covered in my post. A boat may not be required to be brought up if it is not a hazard to navigation. Saying it sank in 150 foot of water and is not in a shipping lane and has very little fuel on board then no agency, as he put it, may not even worry about it. Now on the other hand if it is in the middle of a navigable channel then may be a whole different story. Your example above is covered in the letter. You just can't go searching with a sonar locate property on the lake bottom and start claiming it. Things need to be done to do it properly, legally and correctly.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure that any moderate size boat that goes down over on this side of the lake is not going to be allowed to just sit there. I also find it hard to believe that the EPA will allow such an incident slide by without issuing a fine. At least that's what I thought was part of the reason I was paying insurance. No?
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KaGee View Post
I'm pretty sure that any moderate size boat that goes down over on this side of the lake is not going to be allowed to just sit there. I also find it hard to believe that the EPA will allow such an incident slide by without issuing a fine. At least that's what I thought was part of the reason I was paying insurance. No?
I am not arguing about it but I have spent alot of time learning about wrecks and salvage on the lakes. I am an avid diver and have dove many lake wrecks in both Canada and the US on Erie. There are several books dedicated to the subject as well that I have been through numerous times. Google Michael Wachter Lake Erie and see what comes up. There is a minimum amount of fuel that has to be present for agencies to even respond/react to an incident. You don't think the EPA would not let something slide?? Well explain to me why a wreck named the Cleveco sat off Cleveland for just over 50 years until 1995 with over 325,000 gallons of fuel on board until the issue was addressed and the fuel removed? there are also two shipwrecks that I have dove in Canada (Specular and Tasmania) that are very close to one of the main east/west shipping channel in Lake Erie (Pelee Passage). Several more of these wreck have been dynamited due to hazard to navigation. Alot sits at the bottom of Lake Erie than you would ever think. In this case the Army Corp. of Engineers handles all the hazards to navigation in the Great Lakes and are responsible for handling them. I was just asking the guy to clarify the topic and what he was looking to accomplish by asking the question. I attached a map showing just a few wrecks (notice the concentration of wrecks in the western end. Of the wrecks included on this map, there is about another 1800 that exist.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:24 PM   #11
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Also here is a small portion of the salvage law for Ohio. Please note Section B of this law. Have you tried to recover anything by hand off the bottom of Lake Erie? If it has any weight to it, you are nuts, you risk an air embolism should you drop the item, since you would have to use you buoyancy compensator and pack it full of air. (usually you would use a lift bag, or a surface air supply to pump air into large commercial recovery lift bags (this would be other mechanical means) If you drop it, then you would shoot to the surface resulting in the air embolism, ruptured ear drums, possibly the bends depending on how long you have been down. Its not safe. The state has this law in effect for a specific reason. I have wasted too much time on this already, I am out!!

1506.32 Application for salvage permit for submerged watercraft or aircraft.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, any person who wishes to recover, alter, salvage, or destroy any abandoned property that is located on, in, or in the immediate vicinity of and associated with a submerged watercraft or aircraft in Lake Erie shall obtain a permit to do so from the director of natural resources that also has been approved by the director of the Ohio historical society. A permit shall authorize the operation on, in, or in the immediate vicinity of and associated with only the submerged watercraft or aircraft named in the permit and shall expire one year after its date of issuance. To apply for a permit, a person shall file an application on a form prescribed by the director of natural resources that contains all of the following information:

(1) The name and address of the applicant;

(2) The name, if known, of the watercraft or aircraft on, in, or around which the operation is proposed and a current photograph or drawing of the watercraft or aircraft, if available;

(3) The location of the abandoned property to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed and the depth of water in which it may be found;

(4) A description of each item to be recovered, altered, salvaged, or destroyed;

(5) The method to be used in the operation;

(6) The proposed disposition of any abandoned property recovered, including the location at which it will be available for inspection by the director of the Ohio historical society for the purposes of division (C) of section 1506.33 of the Revised Code;

(7) Any other information that the director of natural resources or the director of the Ohio historical society considers necessary.

(B) A person may recover, alter, salvage, or destroy abandoned property from Lake Erie that is located outside a Lake Erie submerged lands preserve established under rules adopted under section 1506.31 of the Revised Code without obtaining a permit under this section if the abandoned property is not attached to or located on, in, or in the immediate vicinity of and associated with a submerged watercraft or aircraft and if the abandoned property is recoverable by hand without mechanical or other assistance.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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Just an interesting factoid: There is an area in the lake of 2,500 square miles called the Lake Erie Quadrangle that is less than 2/10ths the size of the Bermuda Triangle, but has had almost four times the boating disasters (429). And that is just a small portion of the number of boat sinkings across the whole lake.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:36 AM   #13
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Wow, looking at the wreck map, looks like I ought to buy an extra rabbits foot for fishing off Avon point. Thanks for the info ErieRider.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:06 AM   #14
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Pirate,
Not sure if many recall this but I do. This wreck still sits off Avon Point about 14-15 miles. It went down in 1993 and lost one USCG seamen in the sinking. Here is the story from the day after and a you tube video diving the wreck. (it gets to the wreck about 4 minutes in)Something to think about when your fishing out that way.


FROM LORAIN MORNING JOURNAL LOCAL NEWS

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1993

by: Ron Nissimov, Morning Journal Writer


Divers and helicopter crews searched from dawn to dusk but were unable to find a Coast Guardsman who disappeared in Lake Erie early yesterday morning after boarding a sinking tugboat about 14 miles north of Avon Lake. The search for Seaman Michael Eric O'Neill, 20, of West Alexander, Pennsylvania was scheduled to resume at sunrise today, said Chief Doug Sharp of the Cleveland Harbor U.S. Coast Guard. O'Neill was the only person who was not rescued from the 69 foot boat, the Duke Luedtke, when it capsized and sunk.

Rescued by the Coast Guard were Seaman Marvin Thompson, 26, of Van Wert, Iowa, and three crew members: Captain Jack Hannan of Sheffield Village, Fred Gunn of South Euclid and Albert Cropek of Girard, Pennsylvania. Hannan, listed in stable condition at Lutheran Memorial Hospital in Cleveland, suffered the most serious injuries, hospital officials said. The others were treated and released. O'Neill and Thompson boarded the boat to investigate a reported leak. As they helped pump water out of the engine room, the boat suddenly flipped over, struck the nearby Coast Guard boat, and sank, said Chief Petty Officer Robert Bradford of the Coast Guard in Lorain.

All three crew members were thrown overboard, and Thompson managed to escape from inside the boat by breaking through a window, Sharp said. It was originally believed that O'Neill might have been trapped inside the boat, but the boat was empty when it was discovered early yesterday in 67 feet of water. The tug boat is owned by Luedtke Engineering Company of Frankfort, Michigan.

FROM GREAT LAKES LOG, VOLUME 21, NUMBER 20, OCTOBER 4, 1993

A twenty year old Coast Guardsman lost his life when the disabled tug he was working on capsized and sank on Lake Erie September 21, 1993. The 69 foot tug Duke Luedtke, owned by Luedtke Engineering Company of Frankfort, Michigan, on her way to Ashtabula from West Harbor, Ohio when she began taking on water shortly before midnight September 20. Captain Jack Hannan radioed for help and two Coast Guard rescue boats, one from Cleveland and one from Lorain, responded to the scene about 14 miles north of Avon Point.

When they reach the Duke Luedtke, one of the Coast Guard vessels came alongside the tug to start pumping water from her while Seaman Michael O'Neill, 20, and Marvin Thompson, 24, went down into Luedtke's engine room to try and find the leak. Shortly before 1:00 a.m. the 150 ton tug suddenly listed to port and sank stern first in about 70 feet of water. The Coast Guard 41-footer alongside the tug sustained some damage when the tug went down.

Captain Hannan and two crewmen aboard the tug went into the water when she rolled and were rescued by Coast Guardsmen. Thompson was able to break open a porthole and escape to the surface, but O'Neill was apparently trapped in the engine room. As rescue efforts commenced, drawing an additional fleet of Coast Guard vessels and aircraft, there was some hope that O'Neill might have found an air pocket in the submerged tug. His body was recovered by divers from the hull of the tug, however, at about 3:45 p.m. September 22, 1993.

O'Neill was from West Alexander, Pennsylvania, and had transferred to the Cleveland station from Miami only a month before his death. Former shipmates aboard the Coast Guard cutter Baranof, on which O'Neill served for two years during his Miami tour of duty, remembered him as a dedicated sailor who had participated in a number of dangerous rescue missions.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #15
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ErieRider, Thanks for posting the video. Very sad story for sure, he more than likely transferred up this way to be closer to his family. You sure have to respect those CG rescue teams that make those dangerous dives knowing that they could find something that may haunt them for years. I have read several books on Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, and while fascinating they are so sad as most crewmen lost are just starting out their lives. Being from Rocky River I had a few friends that worked on the ore carriers for a few seasons and made decent money for that time. Although I don't carry Rabbits feet for real, the life jacket seldom leaves my back when I'm out there.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
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RR,
That was a fun dive to the wreck from you tube. The USCG guy died while in the engine room and the boat sank suddenly. USCG has no divers (other than for port security, etc many are assigned to buoy tenders) and SAR (or body recovery) is coodinated using local dive teams (just clarifying the post) The news story is from 1993. just making the point that these wrecks happen even in this modern age and are still down there. I remember growing up when a barge broke and dumped its load of stone into the lake and the stone was just left, however I keep that spot secret b/c I pull nice perch out of there still!! this stuff still happens and very little/if anything is done to these ships and they basically sit down there.
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