:: Transcript ::

Ehime Maru recovery media briefing

Aug. 2, 2001

Speaker: Rear Adm. William Klem, recovery operation commander

This media brief included a Powerpoint slide presentation (file unavailable)

Rear Admiral Klemm: We're here today to give you a brief of the (inaudible) of the operation to recover remains on the Ehime Maru and I'm going to probably darken the room here and show some slides. The information that we provide today is available on the Web site, it can be electronically downloaded if you want the images for broadcast. If that information is not sufficient here, then you should be able to get the information that you're looking for on the web site.

So let me go ahead and begin.

As I mentioned, we're here on a humanitarian mission to recover remains of the crewmembers that were left aboard Ehime Maru. We have been engaged...


We have been engaged in this operation now for a considerable period of time. We started at the beginning of April with an environmental assessment which ended in June. We went into a mobilization effort which has continued through today. The point that we're at today, the Ocean Hercules has completed its preliminary preparations. Rockwater, as you know, is here alongside the pier. We'll visit Rockwater after this press conference and you'll be able to see some of the concepts that we are going to demonstrate here in slide form. We'll get right into it.

Next slide, please.

The condition of the ship as it sits on the ocean floor today, there is about a five-degree starboard list, it's leaning to the right. It sits in a very soft sediment with a clay underlayment and the actual condition of the ship, as you can see, it now has been crumpled and is no longer in line with the rest of the hull form. The hull is intact as it sits. Part of the operation that has been conducted by Ocean Hercules up to this point was to remove the forward mast and the main mast to clear the lifting height of the equipment that Rockwater will install on board the ship.

Next slide, please.

The phases of the recovery, I mentioned that we had completed the environmental assessment. We have been continuously in a mobilization effort. That is we bring the ships and the equipment on-line as required. The rigging operations at the deep water began with Ocean Hercules' arrival several weeks ago and it will proceed in earnest on the 6th or 7th roughly as Rockwater completes her outfitting here and moves out over the site.

The remainder of the operation, the lift and transfer itself, the crew member recovery, the diver operation portion that will take place in the shallow water site, prepare the ship for relocation again, cleaning our shallow water site to put it back in the condition that it was in before we arrived, and then demobilization of all the equipment. We'll talk a little bit about each one of these phases as we go on.

Next slide.

The time line as we have it, the darker areas here are already completed. That is those vessels have already arrived. The operations, as we see projected right now with Rockwater, as I mentioned, going out over the site on Monday or Tuesday of next week. So the timeframes are arrivals and not specifically the time that the ship is employed.

The Crowley Barge 450 is our dive barge. Again, we'll see illustration of these a little bit later, but that is the barge that will support the diving operations over the shallow water site.

Then a Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces ship, probably a submarine rescue ship, will provide support of Japanese divers near the end of the shallow water diving operation and will participate in the closure of the ship and the inspection of the shallow water site after the ship has been relocated.

Next slide.

The Crowley Barge 250 fits in front of the Rockwater today. When you go out to visit the ship you will see it and much of the equipment that it has brought with it from California. It consists of the ROVs from Canyon, the drilling equipment that will be used, and I'll show you that in a little while. The generators and all of the heavy equipment that supports the diving operations on Rockwater, it will also be used to shuttle that material back and forth to the deepwater site.

Next slide.

The Ocean Hercules, the slides here are too light to see the illustration of the ship, but it also sits at the pier today. It is in the process of demobilization. Her mission is completed and she'll be getting underway tomorrow for her next work site.

She did some initial surveys, cleared debris, and we did determine that there was significantly more debris outside than we had anticipated, significant amounts of long line material, monofilament line that had to be secured to avoid toweling our equipment as we get into the operation.

She did clear the center and forward mast from the ship. She did some dredging for the lifting straps that will go underneath the ship, and she has successfully installed a transponder array that will be used for electronically positioning the ROVs underwater.

Next slide, please.

The Rockwater, again you'll visit the ship shortly. She has a singular mission and that is to lift and transport the ship. She will provide the platform from which the working class ROVs as well as the 402 drilling equipment will be staged and utilized. Once she has installed all of the lifting gear she will lift the shift and move it to shore. Again, some slides will illustrate how we go about that process.

Next slide, please.

As Rockwater, and this is the 402 drilling equipment. Essentially what this equipment will do is bore a hole underneath, through the sea sediment underneath Ehime Maru. When it comes out the other side it will take a messenger line from Rockwater, pull it back through, underneath the ship, attach the lifting plate. The Rockwater will pull the lifting plate back through underneath the ship, and that will place the two lifting straps that will actually be used to raise the ship.

Next slide, please.

Once those straps -- you see the straps in blue -- are placed underneath the ship. Then the lifting equipment, the spreader assembly, and the lift arm will be installed. There are a series of weights used here because the spreader assembly itself is buoyant and will maintain a strain on the lifting equipment.

Once that equipment is attached together the ship will be ready to be lifted.

Next slide.

I want to point out, we have two gentlemen with us today. Mr. Fujii and Mr. Takemoto, over to my right here. These distinguished gentlemen from Japan were a part of the initial survey. They did participate in the feasibility study and their technical expertise has been requested and graciously provided during the course of the recovery operation so that they will actually participate on board the Rockwater.

Next slide, please.

Once we have installed the lifting equipment and raised the ship from the bottom, you see an illustration of an ROV. There will actually be three ROVs on board Rockwater. Two of those are working class. That is their manipulator arms are built to provide support for operation of this equipment. The other one is an observation ROV that will be used for recording and visuals.

Once we have raised the ship in the position that you see it here, roughly 90 feet above the bottom, there will be a very thorough inspection of the structural damage to the ship by the two ROVs to provide us with an assessment as to whether or not the estimates of damage that we had used in our calculations of structural integrity are valid.

If we have the structural integrity that we had anticipated, then the ship will be ready to move.

If it is not, that is the structural integrity of the ship is in question or the structure fails, or we find that the structural damage is significantly greater than we had anticipated, we may then have to make an assessment of the desirability to continue the mission based on the likelihood of entire structural failure.

Next slide, please.

The current location, and what you see here is the symmetry of the ocean floor as provided to us USNS Sumner. This data shows the canyon that was the original outfall of the Pearl Harbor water plane back in the ice age, I presume, where the water level was several thousand feet shallower than it is today.

The point of this slide is to show you that there is some considerable variance in the topography of the ocean floor at this point and we must choose a path to bring the ship into the shallow water site that does not pass over some of these obstacles where we might get into either currents or potential obstacles that would prevent us from passing.

So while this looks like a straight line, it is not a straight line. It actually curves to get to the shallow water site.

For those of you familiar with the hydrographics in the Hawaiian Island chain, the Penguin Bank actually is a shallow area in between Oahu and Molokai, and that is a fish habitat, very rich fishing ground, and very sensitive area that we're very much concerned about. The other areas that show in the lighter color based on their depth are also marine sanctuaries and protected by several acts under our environmental protection regulations.

Next slide, please.

Unfortunately, our illustrations that are the backdrop here don't come out very well. We do have illustrations of most of these ships here on posterboard if you need to pick up visuals.

The Kairei is an oceanographic research vessel owned and operated by Japan. It is operated by the Ministry of Education and Science. It will be in the Hawaiian Island chain on a mission for several months. During that period of time they have agreed to provide support at the deepwater site with their ROV, the Kaiko, that will do a bottom search grid survey after we have lifted Ehime Maru.

Next slide, please.

This is the Crowley 450 barge. This barge, as you can see, is outfitted with berthing quarters, conference spaces and other material support, food services, to provide support to our dive teams, salvage experts, that will be operating off of this deck. The configuration that you see on the deck today is not what we will have out at the site. This barge will be chock-a-block full of diving support equipment. So the oil pipeline equipment which you see in this illustration will be removed for that operation.

This vessel will also be used to pick up and relocate the Ehime Maru at the completion of the operation. This barge is very large, 350 feet long, has the ability to balance itself down, attach to the lifting mechanism that will bring the Ehime Maru into the shallow water site, balance herself back up to pick up the weight, and then carry it out to sea.

Next slide.

As I mentioned, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force will provide a ship. The announcement of which ship it is is still pending in Japan right now. We believe that it will be one of the submarine rescue ships that will provide diver support for JMSDF divers that will be involved in the operation along with Navy divers and divers from the Yokosuka ship repair facility, the labor contract employees of the government of Japan who work in the SRF.

Next slide, please.

The ___, again the illustration doesn't show here is the U.S. Navy's submarine rescue ship homeported here in Pearl Harbor. She actually has several missions to accomplish during this operation, the primary one being the shallow water recovery site restoration, diving support at the shallow water site that ___ Kairei and the deepwater survey with the ROV-D drone which will be aboard [Thelma].

Next slide.

This illustration is a very good one. It's not very clear here, but this shows the topography essentially of where the ship is now, where we will move it to at the reef runway, and then you can see as the color changes to a deeper blue/purple color, that is the thousand fathom curve, roughly 12 miles from Barber's Point, and beyond that thousand fathom curve, 6,000 to 8,000 feet of water, the relocation of the Ehime Maru scheduled right now to take place in October.

I think that pretty much wraps up the formal presentation. At this time we're prepared to take some questions. Once we have satisfied the desire for questions we'll move over to Rockwater where we will give some in-depth exposure to the equipment that's going to be used over there and actually get an appreciation for how complex this operation is. It's going to be very crowded over there.

Yes, sir.

Q: When the Rockwater II is done and moved to the shallow water site does it disconnect totally, (inaudible) on the floor, and that's when the 450 then comes in and... When does the 450 (inaudible) pick it up?

A: That's a good question. I should have said that.

The Rockwater's mission is to bring the ship to the shallow water site. Once it is placed in the shallow water site and stabilized, Rockwater will disconnect and she'll be demobilized at that time.

Immediately thereafter, or as soon as we can get the 450 barge forward, in fact a local company, [Helie Tibbits], is out today to install the mooring system for the Crowley barge that will already be in place. So once the Ehime Maru is placed in the shallow water site and the 450 barge is ready for diving operations it will move out and pick up its mooring.

Q: (inaudible) the area (inaudible)?

A: The question is where is the greatest damage on the ship.

The greatest damage that is visible at this point in time is the collapsed structure in the [four feet] of the ship where the bow is lifted. The expectation that we have is that there is damage, extensive damage along the heel line of the ship, probably from mid ships aft. That is under the sediment at this time and cannot be viewed. So the real assessment will take place when we can actually get the ship up off the bottom and view that for the first time using our ROVs.

Q: Admiral, how would you rate this operation in terms of complexity and Navy experience doing something like this?

A: The Navy has got lots of experience with salvage operations and you will have an opportunity to address our lead salvage man, the Supervisor of Salvage, Captain Bert Marsh will meet you on the Rockwater and be available to discuss this and many other projects.

The Navy has raised ships from the Suez Canal at the end of the Gulf War years ago; and that experience has essentially not stopped. So continuously recovering objects from the ocean floor -- aircraft, small craft, ships.

What makes this operation unique is the fact that with 2,000 feet of water it's a fairly large ship to be raised from such a deepwater berth. That has not been done. We're well beyond the capacity, the depth that divers operate. As a consequence, everything has to be done by remote control.

As I mentioned in a previous press conference, had this occurred 15 years ago we would not have been able to undertake this operation because the technology simply did not support it.

So I think I've answered your question there.

Q: Admiral, you said when the ship is lifted off the bottom of the ocean floor that another assessment will be made. Do you have any idea of what odds or how severe this damage may be? What's your margin of error here? How likely is it to be able to continue...

A: That's a good question. We did what we considered to be a conservative estimate of the amount of damage. That is we would err on the side of weakness in the structure in order to have some assurance that we have a sound engineering solution. That is based on a number of facts that we do know. We can calculate the size of the opening in the ship's hull by amount of time that it took to fill and so on.

Based on factors that have been accumulated, we think we have about an 80 percent chance of hitting it on the money. That means that we perhaps have as much as a 20 percent chance of failure.

Q: But the goal would be to get to the point where the damage assessment (inaudible)...

A: I will tell you that we have done a tremendous amount of work up to this point to prepare to get to this point. If everything works the way we have planned it it could be as fast as two weeks or four weeks.

The expectation is that we can do what we have set out here. But we're going to be using some equipment that has never been applied in this fashion before. The 402 drilling equipment, for example, is common oilfield technology today. It's never been used submerged at 2,000 feet. So how it reacts under 60 atmospheres of pressure is going to be the question.

If it reacts the way we expect it to, then it will be a relatively short period of time. The risks that it won't are still there.

Q: Environmental concerns, obviously there are many. What kind of hoops does the Navy have to go through to make sure that everything is in place environmentally?

A: Our environmental assessment essentially identified several factors that were environmental insults that required addressal here. The most prominent of those certainly is the petroleum products that are on board. When she sailed she had 65,000 gallons of fuel oil on board and another 3,000 gallons of lube oil. We had some very conservative calculations that said probably two-thirds of that was still on board when the ship sank.

We think today after some of the preliminary survey work that was done by Ocean Hercules that the amount of fuel remaining on board is significantly less than that, perhaps less than 10,000 gallons.

In any event, whatever oil is in the ship today potentially can be spilled and that is a major concern. We have addressed that within our environment assessment to the satisfaction of the regulatory authorities and we have the equipment to deal with it.

Other areas of concern, the long line fishing equipment and nets and light weight material that might come foul on coral reefs or in fact might cause problems with some of the marine mammals. We have since found that the long line equipment does not have the hooks installed and netting materials that were originally thought to be netting materials identified on the ship in fact are not netting material.

So the primary concern, marine mammals and the coral reefs we think are pretty well covered at this point both by the discoveries that we've made and our ability to control the escape of that material.

Q: Did you say the Rockwater II (inaudible)?

A: That's correct.

Q: (inaudible)

A: We don't have an exact timeframe because there's a lot of equipment that physically has to be installed. That is, attached to the deck, welded down, tested, hooked up to power and hydraulic systems and so on, and that's going on 24 hours a day starting yesterday and will continue until the ship is ready. When it's ready, we're getting underway.

Q: Should the plan fail, is there a plan B?

A: Tough question. If a piece of equipment fails, the plan B is typically that we have backups for all the equipment. If we really get down to the point where a major structural element of the ship falls we will have to do an assessment at that time, but chances are very good that we will not be able to move the ship under such circumstances.

Q: How long will you give it to try and get the equipment underneath the ship?

A: We will go as long as it takes. Our expectation is that we have a primary method to get those straps installed under the ship which is the core drilling equipment, the 402 drilling. If that fails, then we have a backup method to get those straps under the ship.

I have very high confidence that we will get to the point to lift the ship. I think the much greater risk comes at the point where we lift the ship and do the damage assessment and determine the suitability for continuance. We will have to move this ship [about 14 miles] and raise it 1800 feet from the ocean floor, so there is considerable risk involved in those evaluations if the structural integrity of the ship is in question.

Q: What is the significance of the (inaudible)?

A: Yes.

Q: (inaudible)

A: If you're standing on this flat ground, you can appreciate the fact that we're pretty much horizontal. A five-degree list simply means that the ship has lifted. Not only would you find yourself walking at an angle on the deck, but any petroleum products that have been released inside the ship will now seek the highest point. So that has a tendency to funnel and channel oil flows through the ship to certain locations. Basically that's how we determine roughly what oil is in the ship.

Q: How (inaudible)?

A: It technically doesn't impact rigging. Nothing that we do at the deepwater site would be impacted by the amount of oil that there is on board the ship. On the other hand, once we move the ship if we stand it right up or if we lift it the other direction, now that oil has a different flow path, so the potential for the oil to be released is dramatically increased. As a result then the plans that we have to mitigate oil distribution on the surface of the ocean would have to come into play.

Q: (inaudible)

A: It's more an environmental concern, not mechanical movement of the ship.

Q: (inaudible)

A: I'll just give you a range because, let me explain it to you.

In order to move the ship into shallow water and control the environmental or potential environmental insult, we need to move the ship when we have the right set of circumstances. There are four conditions that lead to the right circumstances to bring the ship into shallow water. One of those is tradewinds. We would like to have 15 knots or more of tradewinds. That helps to keep the oil stabilized and any releases that we have, we know where it would go based on modeling that we've done.

We have to have currents, the postal currents of the islands in our favor.

We need to have the tides in our favor. That is we want to bring the ship into the shallow water site during an outgoing tide. That will prevent oil from entering either Pearl Harbor or Kaidi Lagoon and the downtown area of Waikiki.

Finally, we have to have the sea state, that is the waves -- both the swells coming from the southern hemisphere and the wind-driven waves at a height that is low enough to support the lifting and transportation of the ship.

So when those four conditions are met we can then move to the shallow water site.

What I'm telling you is if we were ready to lift the ship tomorrow but we didn't have the right weather conditions, we would have to sit and wait until we do have the right weather conditions. So the operation is not solely dependent on man. We need some help from Mother Nature here to successfully execute this.

Q: So you (inaudible).

A: We have enlisted the support of the Navy's meteorological team. They have provided us extraordinary support. That will be the subject of another press briefing a couple of weeks from now, I believe it's the 17th of August. USNS Sumner will come downtown Honolulu here to give you an idea of what it is they're doing to support this operation. it's not just how fast are the winds blowing and how big are the waves going to be, but what is the current at each level all the way down to 2,000 feet, and as we move the ship into shore, how the currents are varying as we move the ship so we know what effect there will be on the Ehime Maru as it is moved through the water.

It's a very complicated issue, but real time monitoring using buoys as well as Sumner's equipment to provide us some of those inputs.

Q: (inaudible)

A: I'm not sure I understood your question, sir. Could you repeat that?

Q: When is the earliest date?

A: Probably around the middle of August would be the earliest. I would say the 20th is the earliest date, and based on weather and effectiveness of our equipment, we have a window that runs through about the middle of September. That's our expectation at this point in time.

And as I said, if everything worked the way we would expect it to mechanically, we may still have to sit and wait for the weather to match.

Q: (inaudible) the 13th, the Rockwater goes out on the 13th.

A: That's the 6th or 7th.

Q: Then how much time before it can actually start with the weather conditions and everything else.

A: Once she's over, the weather limitations for work are much less than the weather limitations for actual movement. So the present weather conditions are pretty significant out there, 10-12 foot seas, up to 30-knot winds, it's pretty tough on the ships that are hanging around. But the ROVs, of course are operating at depth and they're not affected by the topside weather. So we can continue to operate and rig at the deepwater site, but the actual lifting would be held until we had the right weather conditions.

Q: Assuming you are able to pick it up off the ocean floor and you feel the damage is minimal enough at least to move it, how difficult is it then to move it with basically several hundred feet or so, (inaudible) the Rockwater to the Ehime Maru. How difficult is it to move it along and not just have things flaying in currents or anything else?

A: It's a good question and that's one of the reasons why Sumner will provide an escort in there to tell us what the currents are doing down there. Obviously the currents are different at depth than they are at the surface.

We're limited in the speed that we can move the ship. Typically to about one knot or less -- that's one nautical mile in an hour. The lifting sequence calls for raising the ship at approximately one meter per minute. If we calculate that out then you can see that to raise it that height it's going to take it about 10 hours. We're about 12.5 miles from the shallow water site, so if we were just headed straight in it would take about 12.5 hours if we were to make one knot good.

So the length of the operation could be two days if everything worked right. It could be a lot longer than that if it doesn't.

Q: (inaudible)

A: It's not very likely that we could salvage the pieces if the ship breaks. I say that because the method that we're lifting the ship by is designed to hold the ship together. If the ship fails, it's because there is damage beyond the scope of what we've estimated. That means the ship will probably be in multiple pieces.

The entire purpose for this operation, again, is the humanitarian mission of recovery remains. If we have broken the ship so severely, then we will prevent us from executing that mission period. So it is not likely that we would be able to continue the operation if that structural failure occurred.

Q: You mentioned that the Rockwater II (inaudible) around August 6th or 7th, right?

A: Yes.

Q: Is it reasonable to say that the time when Rockwater II will be leaving Pier 1 is going to be around the same time, on the same day?

A: Yes.

Q: ...6th or 7th.

A: That's correct.

Q: And once you bring back to the shallow water area, you estimate that you get here (inaudible). You start right away, or...

A: No. That's a very good question.

When Rockwater brings Ehime Maru into the shallow water site there are several things that have to happen. When we set the ship down, the incline of the shoreline at that point is about a six-degree angle down towards the ocean. We will be sitting the Ehime Maru starboard side to the beach, which means that the ship will take about a six-degree list to the port side, the opposite of where it is right now.

Once we have set the ship in place we then have essentially a safe period, about 24 hours, to allow the ship to settle and ensure that it is stable in that position.

At that point we will send divers down to do a preliminary inspection of the exterior to ensure that there are no obstacles to our ability to continue the operation.

During that next 24-hour period of time they will start some topside debris removal to clear access paths for the divers to safely enter the ship.

That second 24-hour period will be primarily preparation for the divers to gain access. It will be after that second 24 hours, or roughly 48 hours from when we get the ship in place when our diving operations will start, and obviously that is contingent upon getting the barge, the Crowley 450, into position, that it is prepared and ready to go.

And I want to emphasize here, as I have done before, safety of the people involved in this is the primary driving factor in what we do. So if we find ourselves in a position that we're not ready to begin diving at the end of 48 hours, we will not. It's not worth risking lives at this point. We do not wish to endanger anyone's life in this operation.

So roughly 48 hours is the plan. Weather is always a driver. If the sea state is supportive, we expect in 48 hours to be over the shallow water site.

Q: How would you recover the remains from the ship? Do you (inaudible)?

A: We will be prepared to forcibly enter compartments if we have to. With the assistance of the Master of Kagawa Maru, the sister ship of the Ehime Maru, several weeks ago our divers were able to go on board and videotape accesses to all of the compartments that we will have to get into. Those access paths that they were able to lay out have watertight doors topside, they have ladder wells that we'll have to traverse, and they have non-watertight doors somewhat similar to the kind of doors we have here that close compartments.

As the ship bends and twists, some of those doors may be jammed in the closed position so we may have to forcibly enter those compartments. We're prepared to do that.

Q: Are you reasonably sure as to where you'd find the members?

A: We have a plot of where the crewmembers were last seen when the ship went down, so we will base our search pattern on where those seamen would have proceeded to from that point. So we have a pretty good idea where they all were and a pretty good idea of where they were headed to. So we're pretty comfortable with what we have.

Q: Are there any concerns (inaudible) that the Navy's (inaudible)?

A: I would tell you this. There is a considerable cultural difference between the United States and Japan. Most of those cultural differences are rooted in religion. So there are most definitely differences in the way we do things and the way the Japanese do things.

In the course of this operation we have attempted to understand the Japanese culture and educate our divers and the folks that will be working on the bottom to respect that culture, and to the best of our ability we will do as the Japanese would have done themselves.

Q: Has there been a request by the Japanese to...

A: No there has not, specifically. We know that the families are anxious to reclaim remains because of their culture and their religion. Those remains mean a lot more in their culture than they would in a Western civilization. A burial at sea is a very honorable location for most particularly seamen, but in the cultural arena that we're dealing with it's very important to recover those remains.

How the remains are handled, how the remains are recovered, how they are transported, there are many cultural differences that we've had to become educated on to be able to handle those in a respectful manner.

Q: How many (inaudible) people (inaudible)?

A: There were nine souls aboard Ehime Maru that were never recovered, and by the placement of those individuals as they were last seen, we have probably a fairly strong likelihood that some of them are not on board the ship. My expectation is that that number may be five or seven. So there is a distinct possibility that several are lost at sea.

Q: (inaudible) removed and where do you have (inaudible)?

A: We've removed two masts from Ehime Maru. We've moved the forward mast and the mid mast. I'd just point out the forward mast essentially was removed intact in one piece. The main mast which had the radar equipment and electronics equipment on board was severely damaged during the descent to the bottom. The extreme pressure caused the mast to collapse, and as a result, the removal process was very difficult and that mast was in fact destroyed in the process.

So today we have one mast intact and we have one mast in pieces. Both of them have been recovered to the surface and both of them are currently in a safe storage location at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Q: (inaudible)

A: The main mast was destroyed.

Q: (inaudible) you mentioned five to seven. (inaudible) still in the hull, or five to seven...

A: No, I think five to seven are probably still in the hull. There is always the chance that we will find all nine, but I think that realistically given the locations of some of those seamen, they would have been en-route to exterior locations and may very well have succeeded in getting out of the ship but did not survive the sinking.

Q: What area of the ship do you think they may be in?

A: Well, I will just tell you that some of those folks, probably the majority of them, were down deep in the ship on the third deck. And several were located on the first deck and up to the pilothouse. So the majority down low in the ship.

Q: Is it reasonable to assume that the major hurdle here in this operation is the actual initial lift? There is a chance that it will not survive that initial...

A: You're absolutely correct, and I think that is perhaps the single point where the risk is the greatest. Once we've lifted the ship, if it survives that initial lift then the structural integrity is probably at least close to what we estimated it would be. Once we have completed an assessment to tell us that the ship is structurally sound, then I think the probability of success in moving it goes up dramatically. But as I said, we've characterized that at this point as probably a risk of about 20 percent that there's greater damage there than what we had anticipated.
This is an official U.S. Navy web site.
Please read this privacy and security notice before entering this site.
Designed and maintained by the Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office.
Send recommendations and comments to the Fleet Webmaster.
If commenting about a specific page, please include the page title in your correspondence.
Revised 8/2/01 at 6:10 p.m. (HST)