The 6 Types of Salvage

Losing things that are precious to us can be heartbreaking. At DS diving, we understand the attachment one can have with their boat. It saddens us to realize that even on a fun day out on the water, it is still very much possible for disaster to strike and have the day end with a tow trip back to the dock, or worse.

Types of Salvage

Salvage is often confused with search and recovery. Search and recovery is the act of locating and collecting a possession or possessions that have been lost at sea. Salvage is classified as the rescue of a vessel, its cargo, or its crew from a disastrous situation.

  • Offshore Salvage - Offshore salvage consists of salvaging a boat that has been sunk in offshore waters. These jobs can be requested to help cover-up sunken boats or retrieve boats that are stranded in open seas. Offshore salvage can take a while, depending on the distance, weather, and movement of the tides. In situations like this, the salvage crew should work exceptionally fast to avoid the boat or crew being in an even worse situation.
  • Harbor Salvage - Harbor salvages are not as challenging as offshore Salvage operations, due to the fact it's in a more sheltered body of water and is not subjected to as much of the weather or harsh movements of the tides.
  • Afloat Salvage - A damaged ship that is still able to maintain buoyancy is considered an afloat salvage rescue. Depending on how damaged the ship is, it generally does not take that long to recover, nor is there normally any use for heavy duty equipment. It is usually a straightforward recovery operation: re-float the boat, tow it to a dock or shore, and make sure the captain/ owner is all set with the next steps.
  • Wreck Removal - The first objective of wreck removal is to remove the hazardous and dangerous materials from the water body using the most affordable and efficient tools available. The top priority in wreck removal salvages is to clear the water of anything that could damage the underwater ecosystem or put our crew in danger. The remaining job consists of safely removing the vessel from its location and towing or dismantling it enough to carry it to the nearest dryland.
  • Clearance Salvage - Clearance salvage operations are generally carried out in places where catastrophic events have taken place, such as hurricanes and other water laden natural disasters. The goal of clearance savage is to clear out obstructions from navigational waterways and to clear out other debris, basically restoring the area. DS diving is located in Florida. So, we know a thing or two about natural disasters like hurricanes, waterspouts and even a few tornadoes. We were involved in the clearance salvage operations after the most recent catastrophic hurricane - Irma.
  • Cargo & Equipment Salvage - During a cargo and equipment salvage operation, the top priority is to clear up or try to save sunken cargo and Equipment. In these instances, the cargo generally takes more precedence than the ship itself. Once any wanted equipment or cargo is collected and any hazardous materials are gathered, some people even request their ships to simply be covered and buried as to not have to salvage the entire boat.

Tools of the Trade

There are tools to all trades, ours just happen to include things like airbags, diving gear and air compressors. Making sure you have the proper tools is just have the job, we are here to make sure the job gets done right!

  • Lift Bag - Lifting airbags are used for lifting heavy items up from the ocean floor or refloating boats. Often used in cargo & equipment salvage, wreck removal, and afloat salvage jobs.
  • Diving Gear - Our trade consists of us being on or in the water nearly the whole time we are on the job. For those who do not know what diving gear is, it allows us to breathe underwater for extended periods of time, protects us from the cold and a face mask helps us see underwater.
  • Underwater Cutting Equipment - Underwater cutting equipment is used to break apart large pieces of boats that are still under the water’s surface. This makes removing large salvages easier. Underwater cutting gear allows the job to be done efficiently and safely.
  • Hydraulic Salvage Pump - Hydraulic salvage pumps are used to help pump out water to help refloat a boat or help power the hydraulic winch. When a boat sinks or starts to sink, empty spaces begin filling with water and need to be emptied to alleviate some weight. This pump helps achieve that without using bail buckets or an overworked bilge pump.
  • Air Compressors - An air compressor is used to pump up the lifting bags that aid in the re-flotation of boats or lifting heavy cargo from the depths of the ocean.
  • Hydraulic Winch - Hydraulic winches are generally used to lift or pull heavy loads. They can be used to help bring hefty cargo or even sunken boats back to the surface.

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