Rockwater 2 returns to load stern lift strap


U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs


PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Rockwater 2 will return to port Sept. 1 to load a replacement lifting strap for the stern of Ehime Maru.

The stern lift strap broke after 6 p.m. Aug. 31 while Ehime Maru was lifted approximately 24 feet off the sea floor so the forward messenger wire could be repositioned under the hull.

Remotely operated vehicles conducted a thorough survey of Ehime Maru once the sediment stirred up during the operation settled. From the survey, engineers have determined that Ehime Maru sustained no additional damage and there was no significant release of diesel fuel. During an over flight just after sunrise this morning, a Navy contracted helicopter reported a light sheen slightly smaller than Rockwater 2 south west of the ship. According to a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration formula, this represents less than 3 quarts of diesel fuel.

While in port, Rockwater 2 will load another stern lift strap and rig it to the lift wire of the starboard main winch. This will greatly simplify underwater rigging once Rockwater 2 returns to the deep water recovery site. The replacement strap is reinforced with two 77mm wires affixed to its underside.

Rockwater 2 will return to the deep water recovery site Sep. 2.
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Revised 9/1/01 at 12:35 p.m. (HST)