The problem is, there isn’t a ‘usual.'
Salvage operators spent all day Wednesday July 24 attempting to free the 65-foot Silver Lining yacht from its position south of the Hood Canal Bridge in Bridgehaven, where it was grounded after striking Sister Rock and sinking the previous afternoon.
The eight people aboard were uninjured and used an onboard skiff to self-rescue, Coast Guard staff reported Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, July 24, a state Department of Ecology Spill Response Team determined that the estimated 300 gallons of diesel fuel on board did not pose a leak risk, something that concerned nearby oyster farmers.
The day hard started with the sleek vessel anchored just offshore, its bow canting at an angle to the sky, awaiting a team from Seattle-based Global Diving and Salvage.
Arriving at 10 a.m., Divers spent the next several hours assessing the condition of the yacht, plugging holes in its hull and then pumping out water. But at about 4 p.m., the 33-ton yacht started to list to port, putting a halt to the operations.
“Every situation is different,” said Katie Stewart, project engineer with the salvage operation, noting that plans are often altered based on the changing situation at hand. “The problem is, there isn’t a ‘usual.’”
At about 6 p.m., teams affixed to the submerged stern two giant neoprene air bags capable of buoying 55,000 pounds and filled them with air. Once the boat started to right itself, they began water pumping operations again; after that, they planned to remove the fuel to avoid contaminating the canal waters.
Hoped-for plans Wednesday evening were to have the vessel free and en route to Port Townsend - a two-to-three hour tow - by Thursday morning.
ptleader.com will provide updates as the salvage unfolds.