Rockwater 2 returns to load lifting frame assembly

U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

Sept. 29, 2001

Rockwater 2 will return to Honolulu Harbor today to load the lifting and spreader assembly. That assembly, which will be suspended above Ehime Maru, will distribute Ehime Maru’s weight when it is lifted and transported to the shallow-water recovery site about 1 mile south of Honolulu International Airport’s Reef Runway.

The assembly is comprised of a top and bottom frame. The top frame or lifting bar will be installed beneath Rockwater 2 while in port. After about three days of work in port, Rockwater 2 will then head to a sheltered area at sea where the bottom frame or spreader assembly will be fastened to the top frame. Once this has been completed, Rockwater 2 will return to the deep-water site to lift Ehime Maru and reposition it on a solid, level area of sea floor.

That should take about six days. Once Ehime Maru is repositioned to level sea floor, the bow will be lifted again to move the forward lifting plate into place under the hull in the vicinity of the pilothouse. This will take about one day. Then Rockwater 2 will return to port for about three days to re-rig the forward end of the top lifting frame from a single cable to a double cable lift configuration and then return to the deep-water recovery site.

Rockwater 2 will connect the top and bottom frames and then lift and transport Ehime Maru the roughly 14 nautical miles to the shallow-water site -- contingent on favorable weather conditions -- for diving operations to commence.
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Revised 9/29/01 at 11:00 a.m. (HST)